Roundup 11: July

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We've been beavering away over the last few weeks on some top secret stuff that we'll be announcing in the next few weeks, apologies for the lack of blog love.

Here are a few things that got us talking over the last few weeks:

News that caught our attention

Google has entered the streaming hardware market with the announcement of Chromecast, a super-cheap streaming dongle.


It's already sold out everywhere, and Google had to end a three-month Netflix promotion "due to overwhelming demand". Hardly surprising seeing as the Chromecast retails at $35, and the Netflix deal constitutes a saving of around 24.

Sky hit back a day later with their own announcement, the NOW TV Box. It's basically a rebranded Roku box, but at the incredibly low retail price of just £10, compared to £50 for Roku's own offering.

BT Sport have added half a million subscribers, although the vast majority are Sky TV customers who get BT Sport free with their existing BT broadband package.

The Steve Jobs film starring Ashton Kutcher had a suitably forward-thinking trailer, debuting on Instagram Video.

Anthony Rose, CTO at Zeebox, talks about the opportunities and challenges on-demand content creates for ‘live experience’ second-screen apps

Interesting research pieces


Google has released a report on the Youtube habits of gamers. Although their definition of gamers is a little loose, the content release cycle and viewing patterns surrounding a game release are really interesting.

The BBC announced a UX Research Partnership with several UK universities, to push the boundaries of content and interaction in a multi-platform world.

Disney are also looking to push the boundaries of interaction, with their dedicated HCI research team. It all looks very innovative.

Useful design resources

We spend a lot of time prototyping and testing transitions in mobile apps, haven’t ever really done the same for interface sounds. Octave offers a free library a free library which we fully intend to take advantage of in future projects

Macaw, the self-proclaimed ‘code-savvy design tool’, is a UI design tool that generates semantic HTML and CSS. They’ve released a sneak peek video, and published a demo page so you can check out the code for yourself. We’re keeping a close eye on this one, it has the potential to be the design tool we’ve been waiting for.

And finally

Some light reading for Friday: The History of CTRL + AL + DELETE.

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