Katelyn M. Thompson's Blog

I’ve Moved!

Posted in My Rambles by kmtom on April 7, 2011

This blog has moved over to my own website. Please update your bookmarks!




LivingSocial Amazon.com Deal

Posted in Advertising, Design, My Rambles, Usability by kmtom on January 20, 2011

You may or may not have heard of Groupon or the idea of it. But basically, it’s a service that offers (usually) daily coupons on various things, restaurants, spas, golfing lessons, gift certificates. One example is a $40 gift card to a local restaurant for $20 that expires in 3 months. It works for the restaurant, because it might get some new customers into their restaurant and it works for current customers because they get something at a discount.

Well, yesterday LivingSocial offered a deal for an Amazon gift card at 50% off. A $20 gift card for $10 with no expiration. Too good to be true? Well, maybe. They’re definitely losing money on the deal. By the end of the day, over 1.3 million coupons were sold.

So why do something like this? Well, they’re currently losing to Groupon (or at least they were). According to Website Magazine, as of September 2010, Groupon had 40% of coupon seeking traffic while  LivingSocial had 20%. I’m sure that this not only increased traffic but it also increased LivingSocial’s member base and awareness in the marketplace. I bought the deal. How could you not? And I told my friends and my mom. My mom had never heard of things like this. Well now she knows, and now she’s bought one. And I can pretty much guarantee she’s going to buy another and maybe even more than that. So how much will the dropped $10 on her first LivingSocial purchase actually net for the company? Probably more than $10.

Now, since we’re on the topic, I am not very happy with LivingSocial’s website. Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • It caches your location. So if you go in and are on a national deal page, it thinks your in D.C., even if you’ve set your preferred city. This is the cause for the other two gripes:
    • Why is the above deal showing for Washington, D.C.? I am not near Washington, D.C. I’m signed in and have set my preferred city. I get it’s a national deal, so show the USofA!
    • When you go to LivingSocial.com, it actually takes you to the 3rd link on the left navigation list (URL: http://livingsocial.com/deals/how_it_works). Why? Why tell me how it works? I’m already signed in, I’ve already bought a deal. Just show me today’s deal!
  • I still haven’t gotten my deal!

So what are we to do now? Well, I guess we’ll just wait and see what they follow up Amazon’s deal with. Today, LivingSocial has a European Restaurant in Brighton while Groupon has Indian and Nepal Cuisine in Somerville.

So what else is there?


QotD – January 6, 2011

Posted in QotD by kmtom on January 6, 2011

“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.”

George Burns

On January 3 it will be revealed…

Posted in QotD by kmtom on December 17, 2010

Someone has gone around the hallways here and posted signs on the exteriors of the cubes.

Help me answer the prompt: “On January 3rd, it will be revealed…”

I have decided to incorporate this prompt into my QotD board (photo) in order to allow people to surmise about what will be revealed.

Today’s board reads: “…that Elvis is actually alive.”

Now, I’m not the most clever person in the world, so I need some help to keep this going at least until January 3rd. Please leave a comment about what you think will be revealed on January 3rd.

[Note: the fine print reads “Part 1 in a five-part series of stark PowerPoint slides designed to be highly intriguing”. Don’t limit your answers to this footnote!]

Warm Me Up, Scotty

Posted in Design, My Rambles by kmtom on December 7, 2010

I tend to get cold at work. I’m not sure what it is, but in the winter you can usually find me wearing my jacket around the office. I did the same thing in high school. I just get cold. Even with my jacket, my right hand has been getting very cold. Since it has to be controlling the mouse I can’t put it in my jacket pocket or sit on it as I sometimes can do with my left hand. I was thinking about gloves, and thought it would be really cool if there were gloves that could be heated by plugging them into a USB port.

A quick Google search revealed the USB-Heated Fingerless Gloves from perpetual kid.

However, these are wool, as are most gloves, and I am allergic to wool. So that won’t do. I got to thinking, why couldn’t the mouse itself be heated? So another Google search, and voilà an entire blog dedicated to mouse hand warmer products. It features the Heated Mouse which is sold for only $24.99.


Posted in Design, My Rambles by kmtom on November 24, 2010

I consider myself to be somewhat of a freelance web designer. I’ve created my own website and some websites for friends and family. There’s been a lot of talk about HTML5 and how it’s going to change the world. I’ve been a little late to the game in this new language. Thanks to @taliabethralph I came across html5rocks.com which has implemented some new features and demonstrates them in their slideshow.

It all seems very cool, the ability to have rounded corners and especially the ability to have any font face, regardless of if it’s supported on the users’ computer. I’m hoping that when I take Web Design as part of my Graphic Designer Certificate at SMFA they will cover HTML5 in depth. I look forward to implementing these in my websites and creating some new ones as well!

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Who Am I? [Droid Does]

Posted in Information Visualization, My Rambles by kmtom on November 22, 2010

I am 18-24. I never had a smartphone. I spend most of my time on Twitter [Twidroyd]. I prefer Swype to a physical keyboard. I’ve spent $0 on Android apps. I have 90 apps (everything under the apps button). I’ve never made a purchase or payment on my phone. I play Solitare and Jewels.

Mobclix shows how I measure up:

via @KatieMartell

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It’s Officially Winter in Boston

Posted in My Rambles by kmtom on October 4, 2010

Well, today marks the first official day of winter in Boston, at least in my mind. Baseball is done for the year in Beantown. I saw a great game yesterday with the Sox beating the Yankees and also taking away their AL East crown. The only bad thing about that is that we didn’t get the crown ourselves. Another good thing happened, I won my Fantasy League for the 2nd year in a row. My brother also informed me that he wouldn’t be running The League next year, so I’m planning to take it over. Anywho, here are the results.

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Keeping My Ears Warm

Posted in Design, My Rambles by kmtom on September 21, 2010

I just returned from a quick bike ride. Being that it’s turning to fall, I bundled up a bit and added a sweatshirt to my usual biking attire. Well about halfway into my ride my ears were burning from being so cold. I wondered if there was a solution. Could I cover my ears without hindering my safety?

After a quick Google search, I came across the Bike Helmet Earmuffs which actually affix to the chin strap.

Now, I either need to learn to knit or find someone to make them for me. In case you knit, I’m allergic to wool 😉

via Creations and Ruminations

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You Offer a Mobile Site?

Posted in Design, My Rambles by kmtom on August 11, 2010

Great! You don’t have to advertise your mobile site to me on your website, just take me to it when I’m on my mobile phone!

While checking out the Staples Center website I came across this indicator on the top right of their site. Really?! Isn’t it kind of a given that you have a mobile site? And why do you need to indicate this to people on your main website? Shouldn’t your technology be good enough that you can notice that I’m on a mobile device and just bring me to your mobile site? It’s not like I’m going to visit your site from my computer.

Well, now my post could end here. A simple gripe about how people just don’t get mobile sites. But, I’m going to take it one step further, and expand upon the implementation of mobile site. I actually visited the mobile site from my computer, just to see what it was like. (Now, as a note, I kind of feel bad picking on the Staples Center but #1, the Lakers play there and #2, it just happens to be the one site that I’ve visited recently like this. I’m sure there are many, many others out there.)

Here is the header from www.StaplesCenter.com.

And now the landing page for mobile.StaplesCenter.com

Why is this a problem?

Since getting my Droid back in February, I’ve been using my PC less and less. (Note: I’ll be getting a Mac very soon and hopefully I’ll be using it more since it’ll be AWESOME!) Perhaps I’m expecting too much from mobile sites, but I expect to be able to do pretty much everything I can do on the “normal” site, just faster and easier and with less clutter. Actually, designing web sites optimized for mobile could actually be a good direction for designers to head. But I digress. Why should I have to suffer with reduced functionality and features just because I’m using a “phone”? It just doesn’t seem fair.

Now I could understand this approach 4 years ago when people were accessing the Internet from their Moto RAZRs with small screens and slow networks. But today’s phones are much more powerful than computers were just a few years ago.

One other thing about mobile sites that annoying me just as much as reduced functionality is the inability to zoom! Why must you fix the width to my phone? Sometimes I need to see the words a little bit bigger. WordPress Blogs (including my own) and Mashable are two sites that come to mind.

Do you have any sites that you use that are like this? Any other gripes you have about navigating the Web on your phones?