Going (Creatively) Digital
Alphabet Inc. (yes, Google) used its latest earnings call to tout its advances in the field of artificial intelligence via its RankBrain search technology. As Bloomberg reports, RankBrain helps Google deal with the 15% percent of queries a day it gets that its systems have never seen before. (Example: “What’s the title of the consumer at the highest level of a food chain?”) Moreover, RankBrain is outthinking the brainy types at Google when search engineers are asked to eyeball some pages and guess which they thought Google’s search engine technology would rank on top. While the humans guessed correctly 70% of the time, RankBrain had an 80% success rate. Machine learning also is a key ingredient in Facebook’s newsfeed filtering and Bing’s artificial intelligence work done by Microsoft Corp.
IBM Sees Sunny Skies In Its Weather Company Data Acquisition
IBM’s recently launched Cognitive Business Initiative (formerly known as Smarter Planet) staked a claim to another chunk of the Internet of Things with its acquisition of b-to-b data services and digital properties from The Weather Company. According to Advertising Age, the deal for Weather Services International (WSI) gives Big Blue a massive set of real-time meteorological information, infrastructure and related services. WSI provides data and analytics services to the aviation, energy, insurance, media and other industries, working with American Airlines, British Airways, United, Koch, Cargill, Shell, NBC, CBX, ABC and Fox, among others. The Weather Channel is not part of the deal.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Integration With Pinterest Boosts Targeting
Pinterest is getting a big assist from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, whose Social Studio now integrates with the popular social bookmarking site to make it easier for brands to figure out which pins actually lead to sales. As a result of the integration, content can be bulk uploaded, scheduled and published. This gives marketers access to insights on how content is performing such as repins, comments, likes and traffic, a Pinterest spokesman told VentureBeat. Pinterest says it now has more than 100 million worldwide monthly active users. The site contains no fewer than 50 billion “pins,” signifying users’ interest in a project or product.
QVC Quietly Becoming A Mobile E-Commerce Retailing Force
Anyone who thinks TV shopping network QVC is so very 1986 (the year it was founded) might want to tune in and check out its continuing rise as an online retail powerhouse. The Washington Post visited QVC’s NASA-like Pennsylvania studios to report how the company—which can sell 2,000 pairs of pants in less than 13 minutes—has become the fifth largest mobile commerce retailer, with 45% of its sales occurring online as opposed to the telephone. One of the keys to its success is the phenomenon of second screening, wherein consumers view TV while manipulating a digital device. Opening the QVC app reveals the item that is on-air at the moment. If you have a QVC account and an Apple device equipped with Touch ID, you can check out in less than 10 seconds by hitting the “Speed Buy” button and then letting the app scan your fingerprint.
What’s The Best Mix Of Flat Design Versus Skeuomorphic?
Flat design in the digital world isn’t going away anytime soon. But there will always be debate about the best approach to avoiding stylistic elements that signify three dimensions, as evidenced by a treatise in FastCoDesign by the firm UXPin. According to the authors, the best approach to flat design, as with any design philosophy, is to focus less on the aesthetic and more on why you’re designing. Flat design is more about creating a design that provides only enough secondary elements to navigate the content. So what’s not going away? The list includes iconography, typography, minimalism, single-type families and color usage. What are expected to fade away are huge color palettes, long shadows, ambiguous emphasis, fear of visual flourish and super-thin typefaces.