Katelyn M. Thompson's Blog

The New Facebook Profile

Posted in Design by kmtom on February 9, 2011

I am pretty defiant when it comes to changes to Facebook. I had a hard time accepting the changes to something that I use multiple times a day, multiple times an hour when I don’t see the justification for the change. Regardless, they recently made a significant change to the Profile Pages. There has been a recent “movement” towards using the new Facebook profile layout to one’s advantage. Check them out: on reface.me

via Mashable

Murals Created Into the Buildings

Posted in Design by kmtom on February 8, 2011

We walk by art everyday. In some cases, we walk by without noticing. I’m guilty of walking by many street murals without noticing. I hope that if I walk by one of Vhils’ murals that I’ll notice! He etches his murals into buildings instead of just painting over them. The thing that stuck out to me was how instead of covering up and building he uses the building to create his vision.

 

via @brainpicker

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UX Designers

Posted in Design, Usability by kmtom on January 26, 2011

A brilliant video about UX Designers (although not one, I am working towards pretending to be one) by lyle.

via @Amy_Liz

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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?

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THIS IS “JEOPARDY!”

Posted in Uncategorized by kmtom on January 13, 2011

For those of you not familiar with the game “Jeopardy!” it’s a simple game of trivia between three contestants. The host (Alex Trebek) reads a clue, and the contestants must answer with a question (e.g. “What is…”). For each correct answer, they receive money and for each incorrect answer they lose money. After two rounds, the game enters into “Final Jeopardy” where the contestants are given a topic and allowed to wager as much money as they have accumulated throughout the game. This is where the famous theme song comes into play. The contestants are given the clue and get 30 seconds to write their answer down.

Why all the facts about Jeopardy you ask? Well remember back in 1997 when a computer made by IBM dubbed “Deep Blue” defeated the world renowned chess champion Garry Kasparov? Well, IBM is back at it again. They’ve created Watson, a supercomputer built to play Jeopardy!

Wired covered the announcement that the games will air in February. A one round practice round was conducted and after 1 round Watson was beating Ken by $1,000. Wired reported that after the practice round “[n]one of the three contestants appeared rattled. Of course, Watson lacks the capacity to get rattled.”

I’ll be sure to set my TiVo to record these episodes. Am I smarter than a supercomputer?

The iPhone Has Come to Verizon

Posted in Design by kmtom on January 11, 2011

It’s official! Verizon has announced it will be selling the iPhone 4! I’ve been asked by a few people if I will be converting. I’m not sure yet. Ask me when I’m eligible for an upgrade in 7 months and I’m shopping for a new phone.

In the meantime, in between time, everyone has been comparing the two phones. Is an iPhone4 on Verizon the same as an iPhone4 on AT&T? Well, I’m not sure anyone can really answer that fully yet, until the phone has been tested in the wild, but I enjoyed Mashable’s take on comparing the two phones (see below). They’ve also documented some of the differences between the two networks.

via @Mashable

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A Loooook at the Movies of 2010

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on January 10, 2011

Here’s to a looooooooook at the movies [for those of you not from Western Mass this is a line from Sy Becker] of 2010. This infographic from xach.com shows the top grossing films in the box office from week to week.

via Cool Infographics

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Filip Dujardin Photography – Fictions

Posted in Design by kmtom on January 9, 2011

I’ve always enjoyed walking by and looking at the Stata Center at MIT (above) So when I saw Filip Dujardin‘s photography in which takes an image of a modern building and transforms it through Photoshop I loved it!

via SwissMiss

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Word Trends

Posted in Information Visualization by kmtom on January 8, 2011

Google Books Ngram Viewer allows you to show the trend of words used in “lots of books”. It’s interesting to see trends in our society through books.

Trend of radio, television, Internet.

via FlowingData

Angry Birds: The Board Game

Posted in Uncategorized by kmtom on January 7, 2011

I love board games! Games are fun and I enjoy spending time with friends doing things other than drinking beer (although trivia in bars can be fun too!). I also love Angry Birds. I’m very close to getting 3 stars on all the levels in the main game and I’ll be sure to announce it here when I do beat the game.

I digress. I haven’t been following too much of the stuff from CES aside from the occasional tweet here and there. But, when I saw @Mashable‘s tweet about the Angry Birds board game, you know I clicked through and investigated further! The video from electricpigtv shows you the basic idea of the game, which is being producted by Mattel.

For more info about Angry Birds: Knock on Wood, check out Electricpig’s blog post. It’s slated to come out in May at the cost of $15.

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