Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Mocoro - our latest pet and gadget in one

Mocoro - fuzzy blue (or pink, yellow or green) gadget that cleans your floor and is fun.  It's marketed as a robotic floor cleaner.  

This guy is hilarious.

Unboxed this guy after purchasing it online month's ago.  It's not the genuine Mocoro as the instructions don't quite work against the actual thing but it doesn't matter.  He's a cool Cookie Monster blue (and comes with different 'covers') and rolls around the floor.  The really cool thing is that he (it?) rolls around in inconsistent ways and often just 'rolls off' to do it's own thing.  It's quite hilarious (strange sense of humour I have maybe?)  It often goes against a wall and just um... becomes fairly affectionate against the wall...

Initial thoughts about the 'useful' part of Mocoro:

  • The zipper makes a bit of a disconcerting noise against the floor and maybe a bit of concern about scratching the floor... 
  • Takes 2 AA batteries (despite saying only 1 battery)  
  • Not sure how long it will last for battery wise as there is some comment about 1 AA battery and 5 hours on the box but since it's not a genuine one... I doubt it and I think it would be based on the battery... 
  • Not sure how good it cleans as this was at my MIL's place which is fairly spotless
  • Not predictable in the way it rolls.  It was happy to roll into the bedroom which is carpeted
  • Hard to turn 'on'
If I had time I'd create little stories featuring the Mocoro.  It'll be hilarious.  Maybe even start me Vining or Instagram video'ing.  Or should it be Meercatting these days?  :)

If you want one for yourself, I'll be listing a few 'spares' I bought on Oddswop (if shipping from Overseas my take was getting a few more).  Although I'm tempted to keep them all for myself and giving them as gifts to others.  

I have used it for a short stint and can confirm that it cleans! 

I have a very dirty cover thing for proof!
Dirty Mocoro
Oh and when rolling around a rug it doesn't seem to have the power to go ontop of the rug so all good.  All the hidden dust and hairs under the seats were cleaned up.  WIN!  

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The power of a key!

I hate broken crockery.  Or chipped crockery.  It irritates me.  But you know what is worse?  A broken keyboard.  Or rather a missing key.  Not only did I suffer 1 fallen off key but two!!
Someone suggested I asked too many ?s!  
 I could still use the keyboard despite the missing key but it was irritating.

I even had the key but if I put it on top it wouldn't necessary depress so I pulled it off rather than suffering the irritation when typing.  Otherwise I'd end up being an ANGRY typer.  Oh yes.  They exist.

I have a keyboard at home which has no key labels.  I love it.  (It's a DAS keyboard in case you are wondering.) Even when I can't find the dollar sign or the minus key (unless I used the number pad).

Then the G key was also loose :(

Not only do I ask too many questions, I must also have a love of the letter G.

After a lot of searching around and trying to replace keys on my Sony Vaio, I even thought to get the whole keyboard replaced.  But that would cost a fair amount.  And it was only these plastic hinges that had snapped off.  or the little legs on the hinges that had worn out.  Something so tiny I couldn't work it out even with a magnifying glass!

But when visiting the various keyboard replacement companies they didn't seem to have one that fit my keyboard.  So I again revisited the option of the full keyboard replacement.  But I didn't want to spend over $300 on the replacement :(

So back I went looking for keyboard replacements.  Lucky for me I decided to contact via their support services.  They asked me to send a photo of my missing keys (hence the above photos!) and they sent me a link of which one I should purchase.  I ended up buying 3.  A spare 'any' key so that I could use it if needed.  Cost me a fraction of replacing the full keyboard.

Anyone looking to replace their keys, an annoying thing about is they upsell you AFTER you have completed the transaction. I would have purchased a couple of extra hinges and was tempted by the clear cover thing (I'm Asian!  It's in my genes OK!?) had they put it prior to checkout or during checkout.  So I bought no spares afterwards even though a few hinges would have been great since I still had my keys but the hinges were the broken bits.

I'm just glad that my keyboard is back in action and looking like it's not missing teeth or looking like chipped crockery!


Now to check out Instructables to repurpose my spare keys that I have -- for something more than just a magnet!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

House update - we're almost there!

For those who don't know we're building a house.  No not us, but a builder is doing the building but we have commissioned a house to be built.  And we're almost there.  The 10 months we've been living at my mother in law's place has been interesting.  Whilst it seems like a long time we've been keeping ourselves busy so it's not been all that bad.

The really good news is that I feel like we're only maybe 5 - 6 weeks away from getting keys.  But I have no idea.  The Site Supervisor has indicated by May we should be in.  But he didn't want to commit!

This is what it looked like last week (February 2015):

In December 2014/January 2015:

October 2014:

In October 2014

In July 2014 (around the time of Demolition)

For more information about the build visit the Building Journey blog:

Onboarding a user via an App - Uber case study

Uber onboarding screens

I thought this would be useful for others as it's a good study in how to design an app for easy 'onboarding' and sign up.  

During a UX workshop I went through an app onboarding example using Uber.  It is not an app I have used previously as I haven't had any need to use Uber.  But everyone who has used it seems to love the service and convenience.  And one of the guys told us how good it was so that was going to be our benchmark.

Uber was deemed an easy process and utilised some interesting phone features to make it as easy as possible.  

Takeaway: All apps should make onboarding (signups) as simple as possible and reduce keyboard entry of data.

This study was done on an Android device (Nexus 5) on Thursday 26 February 2015 in the Sydney CBD area.
1. First time open

2. Registration Option
This option allowed for social sign in.  This is always a good option but don’t make this your sole way of signup as it can alienate people too.
Also note that this picked up automatically my name, my email address and my country code (I do have a setting in there somewhere that makes it a UK phone).


I selected the Google+ option and it prompted me for which account (no screenshot as that is standard functionality).

3. Create an Account
To create an account with Uber requires a phone number – this hasn't been passed through via the Google social sign in so the app prompts me to enter it in again.  
The keyboard that appears is the keypad only.
4. Credit Card or Paypal
The next part of the registration requires a credit card to be entered or linkage to a Paypal account.  Again having a couple of options increases the signup process.

5. Scan a credit card
Using OCR , the card can be scanned and the numbers from the credit card can be picked up.  Unfortunately this time it didn’t work (probably because it was a silver card with silver writing).  

Note: The green border and the white text is part of the app.

I've used this type of functionality in the past and it's been fine so suspect it's just a card/camera issue (phone functionality not app functionality).

6. Auto sign in
The user is signed in at this point and doesn’t have to jump through any more hoops.  This happens when the sign up happens on the device.  

Not sure why the buttons don’t all fit.  Assume it's a bug... 
7. Verification SMS
I’ll assume this text message that is sent from Uber is for signups that happen that can’t be verified via the device.

I really liked doing this exercise.  It was for work purposes as otherwise I don't think I could be bothered documenting each step!