Month: March 2011

PROJECT Magazine now 99c per issue on iPad, possible reasons behind price drop

At $2.99/issue, Richard Branson’s PROJECT was one of the best value-for-money magazines on the iPad App Store, complaints about its interface design and download speeds notwithstanding; the editorial direction covering technology, culture, personalities, media and advertising, all with a distinctly British irreverence and humor, was refreshing and different. Now at $0.99/issue, it’s practically irresistible. I think they’ve lowered the price as a response to iTunes’ new subscription billing plans. When you can get seven issues of The Daily’s questionable but effort-laden multimedia content for just $0.99/week, paying more for “less” becomes harder. They probably wanted to offer an annual subscription at Wired/PopSci* print prices (between $10 and $15 a year), but that would lock them down to the commitment of a new issue out each month. So far, they’ve delivered three issues in four months, so some kinks or uncertainties must still be working themselves out. iTunes subscriptions work on the basis of timed periods, such as monthly and bi-monthly. I don’t think there’s a way to bill someone for 12 parcels of content delivered …

➟ The UX of Angry Birds (plus: buy Super Quickhook, Hook Worlds!)

Pulse UX Blog: Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: a cognitive teardown of the user experience Why is an interface so engaging that users cannot stop interacting with it? This is a difficult question because it requires cognitive reverse engineering to determine what interaction attributes a successful interface embodies that result in a psychologically engaging user experience. This question pops up when products become massively successful based on their user experience design – think iPhone, iPad, Google Instant Search, Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect. A detailed examination of the game mechanics and psychological elements that contribute to Angry Birds’ incredible stickiness, fun, and success. I play it now and then, a couple of levels at a time, and have many levels to go. I’m personally more susceptible to reflex-based game addictions, stuff like Canabalt, Skipping Stone (an ancient mobile game which is now being remade for iOS), and Super Quickhook/Hook Worlds. The latter two are amazing games on the iPhone by a small indie studio called Rocketcat Games. If you like infinite running games …

Wishlisted book: Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals

Amazon.com recommended this book to me, and they were right, it's exactly the book I'd like to be reading now. Completionist instincts are especially activated in Japanese consumer culture, the one place I can think of where releasing a $300+ electronic device in multiple colors prompts repeat purchases from a significant number — with limited edition rereleases prompting early-morning lineups. Serendipitously, this lines up with a lot of articles and posts I'm reading lately (therein lies the problem, "high rate, low downtime" information consumption) about hyperconnectedness and how it's ruining our ability to analyze. The last line of the book description below summarizes this idea, and explains the book's title, so I've set it in bold for your convenience. Book description from Amazon: In Japan, obsessive adult fans and collectors of manga and anime are known as otaku. When the underground otaku subculture first emerged in the 1970s, participants were looked down on within mainstream Japanese society as strange, antisocial loners. Today otaku have had a huge impact on popular culture not only in Japan but …