Hong Kong: a city of convenience and the octopus card

One of the many reasons that HK is home to alot of exparts is because its a place where you can quickly adjust to and figure out. 

The MTR system is solid and simple (no strikes or issues), 7/11s and restaurants everywhere, taxis eager to take you anywhere and the best tool any HKer has; the Octopus Card. 


The Octopus Card is a precharged card that is used as transportation pass and payment method. Really, it is damn convenient!! It became popular because the Octopus Card is untraceable which is something Chinese people like. You buy it without giving your name, load any amount you want on it and use it almost anywhere from convenient stores, supermarket, Mcdonalds, MTR, parking garages, ferries, buses, tram, vending machines (they even have vending machines for printer ink!), and so many other merchants! At boot.hk, its even used as keycard to open the door and comes in many sizes!

The Octopus Card uses RFID technology as a “touch and go” system, which makes it seamless and simple. I wonder why we do not use this back in the states, although we do have a clipper card for VTA Transit in the Bay Area, its not quite as useful as the Octopus Card. 

There is also a difference of time perspective here, which is given with their efficient public transit. If it takes 30+ mins to get somewhere, most people think its too far or long already but that’s very normal in the Bay. Driving from San Jose to Palo Alto takes about 30 mins already. 

Beerfest was this weekend and boy…it puts Octoberfest to shame! It gets super crowded and crazy!

More pics from my iphone:





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Which Landing Page to Use?

“The best thing to do is create a simple “Coming soon” page to notify visitors of what will eventually be there. ” -Cameron Chapman

The next step for us is to create a good landing page that is eye catchy and pleasing but informative enough to attract viewers to sign up their email. 

A good link to read (and where the quote came from): Designing “Coming Soon” Pages by Smashing Magazine.

At the same time, we wanted something different but simple enough that it can also be used when the app is out with a “download in the app store” logo. 

Callum Chapman, our UI/UX designer brainstormed with us for a while to see if we could get something stylish and that fits our app. 

The choices were:


We decided to use the dark color background of a city (its actually Shanghai), we blurred it out and added glowing elements to the page. The visual elements are that if you hover your mouse over an icon, it glows, and the arrows are to show the different page previews of the app. 

So now, all we have to do is let Callum’s web developer to code it and voila! Landing Page done. 

(Few days later…)

Alright people, check it out at http://signup.citywi.se/
Let me know how you guys like it and SIGN UP! =) 

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How to Create an Iphone App.


Why am i listing the ways to create an iphone app? Because my team and i are making one! This is just my humble opinion and with words of recommendation from my advisor. 

The simple steps listed in order of importance are:

1. Design, Functionality, Market Research
2. Developement and Icon
3. Logo
4. Testing 

We started on this process about April 10 and nearing completion of the design step. Finding a good designer took a while and thanks to the help of Max, our developer, it was faster and easier. 

For us, we put a heavy emphasis on design and make sure that the core product works and as our advisor, Tuyen puts it; “Remember to keep it simple and focus on the core functionality. If you can’t get that to work, no amount of icing on top will make it better.”

Some helpful links:

1. Fonts: www.myfonts.comwe decided to go with this font (the ‘black’ version) for our logo and landing page: http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/kostic/argumentum/ $40 bucks for the font, cheap and we can get a logo in the future when we get funding (i rather pay more for the icon anyway).
2. Sounds:http://audiojungle.net/
3. We found our color palette here: http://www.colourlovers.com/ a
4. http://maniacdev.com/2011/02/tutorials-how-to-grea-looking-ios-apps-even-if-you-are-a-design-noob/ some info about designing iPhone apps, been reading that to get a clearer idea on how design should look and function. 
5. Haven’t tried this yet but i heard it was good, a privacy policy generator: https://www.iubenda.com/en  



Here’s a screenshot of the app so far. Let me know what you guys think. 



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