Mapcial Observations

Downloads and Usage

Mapcial’s been on the market for a week or so now, with a handful of users downloading the application.

Observations so far:

  1. Nobody subscribes to events
  2. Nobody messages

Observation 2 probably goes with number 1 in that if you don’t subscribe you can’t message.

So, why no subscriptions?

Hmm, good question. If you don’t subscribe then Mapcial scrolls a message across the top of the screen prompting you to subscribe. It’s a subtle prompt, so maybe people are not observant or adventurous with this sort of application. But that begs the question why download it in the first place?

We have also noticed that the recent users are non-native English speakers, so perhaps they don’t know what they are supposed to do, no matter how much ‘textual prompting’ we give them.

Less subtle

In an attempt to be less subtle and prompt people to subscribe to an event, we automatically messaged each new user a ‘Welcome’ message when they register.

The result? Not many people notice the animated icon for the message or click to read it, either. We could understand if they didn’t ‘ken’ the message, but the email icon we thought was universal?

Next steps

Since most users are not subscribing, they miss out on the obvious interactions and features of Mapcial. In the near future we’ll change the server code to automatically subscribe people to the ‘Android Users’ event.

To help our non-English speaking users, we’ll also add a POI in their geographic locale, with an explanation in their language of what to do.

Forced subscription to events is not something we like to do, prefering to let the users find their own way around. However, the odds are that you’ll click the first POI near you and thus be more ‘inolved’ with the application. Let’s hope Google translate is up to this 😉

Beta download

Mapcial is avaialble from the Android market.

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