I met with Sentiance yesterday. You can use a lot of words to explain what they do, this is my version: they offer a solution for apps and websites to know a lot of stuff about their users; what they’re doing and what their habits are. From whether he’s on the bus or in the car to where he’s probably heading next (work, pick up the children from school, the supermarket), what his normal schedule looks like or if he has a dog.
Based on this information we can make our apps and websites MUCH more intelligent. We could send relevant information and offer functionality and reminders at the right time. Which made me think about my own behavior and how irritating current apps communicate with us, due to lack of information about us or the willingness to do something useful with readily available information.
Notifications often irritate
Ever since I own a smartphone, I found myself turning off most notifications. Notifications were either totally useless or send me information at a time I was not interested. Both come from lack of understanding me as a user. And instead of making me a happier app user, they would irritate me to the point of turning notifications off. At times even deleting apps altogether.
We live in patterns
Not only notifications show a total lack of familiarity with who I am as a user. I have been a Youtube-user-with-login for roughly 3 years. After 3 years of daily usage, Youtube has not yet worked out that I have day-behaviour, early-evening-behaviour and late-evening-behaviour which are different.
- during the day I use Youtube for work, watching mostly tech videos
- between 19:00 and 19:30, every day, I watch videos with my two small children
- during the evening I watch documentaries (streamed to my tele with Google Chromecast).
We watch stuff in either Dutch, English or Spanish.
Nonetheless, when I give a presentation to clients and it contains a video, it will invariably end with something like this;
Hello Bumba, hello Samson, Zandkasteel and Bobo! Not now please, I’m not with the kids right now!
And before a video starts I usually have to sit through mostly French speaking video ads.
Apps can become courteous
Although it is easy to imagine scary ways to use information from Sentiance, there are many simple things we could do with it to massively improve apps and be courteous to our users, by showing that we understand the basics of their behavior, preferences and context. Sentiance is a fascinating platform, have a look, imagine what it could do for you. And get in touch if you feel like trying.