11 January 2005

[ O ] XML Product Demos: Other thoughts on showcasing aggregators with flash

I previously blogged on the Sage flash demo. Wanted to expand those comments to include a couple of other perspectives.

  • Screen shots of black and white movies illustrating car safety

    Also, I wanted to share some images on the concept of "illustrating the task." These images simply illustrate the concept of "showing the task" rather than showing the breakpedal. Note the clock in the lower right hand corner.

  • Simulation: Show simulated content arriving like a package in a simulation

    One aspect of aggregators I touched on was the time-element. I mentioned showing a clock spinning while the viewer compared the side-by-side demos of performing a search task with a search engine-bookmarks vs an aggregator.

    I thought that it would also be useful to demonstrate the XML-data-feeds as well. Specifically, if one were first learning about XML and trying to visualize this "whole feed thing," one demonstration that I found really helpful for new people is the Feedster visual demonstrations I mentioned here and here.

    Notice the Feedster image has arrows, with various content providers. The point being: This image shows how content arrives to the reader's eye-balls. This is a good image. It helps explain XML and feeds well for new people.

    Springing off that image, consider what would happen if we broke that image into a time-series: Showing how the XML-feed as a data-block-of-info flowed from the content provider as news comes out.

    Also, think of a simulation-software package that displays units going through the production channel or a server-queue like a toll-booth. A neat simulation will allow the user to adjust the speed of the cars or production units through the process-server from very slow, to very fast.

    Apply this concept to the XML-demonstration. What if the Flash demonstration graphically moved a chunk of information through each content=provider at a time; and then as the reader reviewed the information, the Flash demo would display how the visual content within the aggregator changed.

    Rather than simply click the mouse and add things, it would be more interesting to see how the content on the Feedster-like image flowed from the content-provider over time, and the flash demo had a small simulation-like image showing the content leaving the single-content provider, and how things changed in the aggregator.

    As a starting position, the flash demo could show "nothing coming in". Then as new links are added, and packets of information is flowed into the aggregator, the small image would show an XML-orange button of information flowing from the content provider, into the aggregator, and then the Flash simulation would show how the user could change the display, adjust the image-sizing as more information showed up.

    It would be neat if this entire process could be shifted from a simple flash demonstration into something that was an adjustable "package flowing type information" that was integrated with a real-life-aggregator that user's could adjust the tasks.

    Rather than simply just click on the aggregator, it would be neat for demonstration purposes for the end-user to be able to adjust the simulated aggrgator and see how the content and appearance of the flash-like demonstration changed over time as simulated content-flowed into the aggregator.
  • I previously blogged on the Sage flash demo. Wanted to expand those comments to include a couple of other perspectives.

  • Screen shots of black and white movies illustrating car safety

    Also, I wanted to share some images on the concept of "illustrating the task." These images simply illustrate the concept of "showing the task" rather than showing the breakpedal. Note the clock in the lower right hand corner.

  • Simulation: Show simulated content arriving like a package in a simulation

    One aspect of aggregators I touched on was the time-element. I mentioned showing a clock spinning while the viewer compared the side-by-side demos of performing a search task with a search engine-bookmarks vs an aggregator.

    I thought that it would also be useful to demonstrate the XML-data-feeds as well. Specifically, if one were first learning about XML and trying to visualize this "whole feed thing," one demonstration that I found really helpful for new people is the Feedster visual demonstrations I mentioned here and here.

    Notice the Feedster image has arrows, with various content providers. The point being: This image shows how content arrives to the reader's eye-balls. This is a good image. It helps explain XML and feeds well for new people.

    Springing off that image, consider what would happen if we broke that image into a time-series: Showing how the XML-feed as a data-block-of-info flowed from the content provider as news comes out.

    Also, think of a simulation-software package that displays units going through the production channel or a server-queue like a toll-booth. A neat simulation will allow the user to adjust the speed of the cars or production units through the process-server from very slow, to very fast.

    Apply this concept to the XML-demonstration. What if the Flash demonstration graphically moved a chunk of information through each content=provider at a time; and then as the reader reviewed the information, the Flash demo would display how the visual content within the aggregator changed.

    Rather than simply click the mouse and add things, it would be more interesting to see how the content on the Feedster-like image flowed from the content-provider over time, and the flash demo had a small simulation-like image showing the content leaving the single-content provider, and how things changed in the aggregator.

    As a starting position, the flash demo could show "nothing coming in". Then as new links are added, and packets of information is flowed into the aggregator, the small image would show an XML-orange button of information flowing from the content provider, into the aggregator, and then the Flash simulation would show how the user could change the display, adjust the image-sizing as more information showed up.

    It would be neat if this entire process could be shifted from a simple flash demonstration into something that was an adjustable "package flowing type information" that was integrated with a real-life-aggregator that user's could adjust the tasks.

    Rather than simply just click on the aggregator, it would be neat for demonstration purposes for the end-user to be able to adjust the simulated aggrgator and see how the content and appearance of the flash-like demonstration changed over time as simulated content-flowed into the aggregator.
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