It’s always great to have our work recognized by our peers, and the Digital Strategy, UX, and Dev teams really came together seamlessly with the traditional agency creatives in our work on the Ferring Fertility franchise site, which was honored with a silver award in PM 360 magazine’s Pharma Choice awards. The database-driven site, with ability for doctors to register their clinics, and the brand team to update events, is highly search engine optimized, with an advanced aesthetic that pairs the rational and emotional reasons to prescribe Ferring products. Congrats to the teams!
Crowdsourcing has taken a step in the right direction, says an article in today’s New York Times. Researchers in Cambridge, England, have worked with a Scottish software company to build a “Space Invaders inspired” mobile game that uses players interactions to analyze gene sequences from cancer patients. ” The hope is to reduce the time it takes to study these genetic faults from years to a just few months, while also giving users a downloadable smartphone game that can be played during their morning commutes… In early trials, the gaming results have been up to 15 percent more accurate than existing methods used to crunch the cancer data,” says the article.
The article also gives a fascinating history of some of the impressive breakthroughs already achieved by using games in health care, including abstracting complex problems into playable metaphors and leveraging social competition dynamics to drive interest.
Following the initial success of the “fremium” game model on mobile phones, there’s been a wave of gradually more exploitative games using this model – an initial “free” download followed by the extraction of incremental real money to finish tasks or gain abilities faster.
As Thomas Baekdal points out, EA’s Dungeon Keeper epitomizes the problem: take a $50 game concept from the late 1990s, and then set up the “free” mobile version so that it costs players $80 to make the same progress they would have made in 15 minutes in the original version. His rant includes a great (but NSFW) link to Nerd3‘s video review of the game in question – but Dungeon master is just the tip of the iceberg.
The larger problem is that this horror is being actively promoted by Apple, and a generation of new gamers is being taught that this is the “normal” gaming experience. Hopefully there will be a backlash and a return to quality games where the players pay a reasonable fee, one time, up front. Otherwise there’s a huge risk that the gaming industry will implode… as it has in a boom and bust cycle that’s followed each generation of new consumer devices.
The Digital group at Sudler New York wishes all our clients, colleagues and collaborators a happy, safe and restful holiday season, and a prosperous 2014.
One of the advantages we have at Sudler is an in-house Tech team. As pharma gets more “mobile,” it’s often far easier to build early, functional, mockups of sites, rather than trying to design multiple versions of each page in Photoshop. Playing into the trends towards agile development and responsive sites, this approach can also ease the challenges of typography on the web.
This insightful lecture by Typecast’s Jamie Neely at the Type Director’s Club explains how and why prototypes allow web designers to experiment more, waste less, and create something semantic and meaningful. Worth a look by a wider audience than just type geeks.