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October 07 2011

Top Stories: October 3-7, 2011

Here's a look at the top stories published across O'Reilly sites this week.

Oracle's Big Data Appliance: what it means
Oracle's new Big Data Appliance couldn't be a plainer validation of what's important in big data right now, or where the battle for technology dominance lies.

PhoneGap basics: What it is and what it can do for mobile developers
Joe Bowser, the developer of the Android version of PhoneGap, on the pros and cons of developing with the PhoneGap cross-platform application framework.


How data and open government are transforming NYC
New York City has become the epicenter for experiments in data-driven governance. Here, NYC officials Rachel Sterne and Carole Post discuss the city's data initiatives.

The making of a "minimum awesome product"
In this podcast, Evan Doll, the co-founder of Flipboard sat down with Joe Wikert to discuss Flipboard's focus on design and social integration.

iPad vs. Kindle Fire: Early impressions and a few predictions
Few have actually held the Kindle Fire, let alone put it through its paces, so Pete Meyers chose a novel analytical approach: Examine his own iPad habits and look for spots where the Fire can find a foothold.


Android Open, being held October 9-11 in San Francisco, is a big-tent meeting ground for app and game developers, carriers, chip manufacturers, content creators, OEMs, researchers, entrepreneurs, VCs, and business leaders. Save 20% on registration with the code AN11RAD.

October 05 2011

The making of a "minimum awesome product"

This post is part of the TOC podcast series, which we'll be featuring here on Radar in the coming months. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.


When the Flipboard iPad app first arrived, it helped us to look at the tablet user interface in a whole new way. Suddenly, those ugly RSS feeds became beautiful, and they could be navigated alongside Twitter and Facebook streams. Flipboard's co-founder, Evan Doll (@edog1203), recently sat down with me to talk about how the app was designed and where it might be heading. Key highlights from the full video interview (below) include:

  • A key to design at Apple: Every time you present the user with a non-essential decision to make, you have failed as a designer. [Discussed at the 1:00 mark]
  • Steve Jobs and user interface design: All those rumors are true. Steve Jobs has indeed played a significant role in even the tiniest of user interface design decisions. [Discussed at 1:20]
  • Exceeding customer expectations: Focus less on producing a "minimum viable product" and more on making it a "minimum awesome product." [Discussed at 2:28]
  • Anonymized data is a crucial tool: You may not like it, but your browsing habits are being studied. Don't worry though — it's not some big brother conspiracy, but rather the Flipboard team looking for ways to improve the user experience. [Discussed at 4:05]
  • Focus on being "fundamentally social": The social component of your product needs to be organic, not something that's tacked on later. Flipboard is an "inherently social browser." [Discussed at 5:15]

You can view the entire interview in the following video.

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