A few weeks ago we came across the Daytum site and made a small song and dance about it in this blog. Well we have subsequently come across Mycrocosm, a site by MIT which essentially makes the same claims as the Daytum site, namely to capture and chart the minutiae of daily life.
What struck me when looking at the two of these is that we have the perfect example for comparing two approaches to application design: one that focuses on aesthetics and ease of use; and the second, a utilitarian approach to getting the job done. Like a lot of software solutions that claim to deliver the same outcome the difference between these two is the journey of how you get there – the emphasis on user experience.
Daytum provides a great user intuitive interface for people to input data whilst with mycrocosym it is scripted and basically inaccessible for the average user. I could not even be bothered to give it a go. So given the different approaches it will be a great study of consumer behavior and choice. Given the target market consumers use these tools by choice so it will be really interesting to track the take up rate of the two.
This has parallels to the BI software market. If you want a BI tool that will have high adoption rate with business users then ease of use is paramount. A seamless easy to use interface that lets a user connect, map and visualize their data without coding or scripting will have higher user adoption and satisfaction levels than a solution made up of multiple applications loosely coupled together, where user interface consistency does not exist.