Mobile

Can Color beat the backlash with an improved interface?

Mobile startup Color had one of the most spectacular launches in recent months — and not necessarily in a good way. Because of its lineup of co-founders (including chief executive Bill Nguyen, who previously founded music service Lala) and its massive $41 million funding, there were plenty of articles about the company, many wondering, “Wait, how the heck did this app raise this much money?”

On the bright side, $41 million certainly gives a company room to experiment, and Color executives have promised that improvements will come quickly.

Color is a photo/video app. The idea is to organize photos and videos by events and groups, rather than by user– so that you can see all the photos taken at a party you attended, even if you aren’t friends with some of the photographers. Color is also supposed to become smarter about who your friends are as it sees where you use the app and with whom.

After watching co-founder and president Peter Pham’s demo last week, I thought that Color offered a really promising model for social interaction on phones. Once I downloaded the app for myself, however, I was left scratching my head about what exactly to do, especially when there was no one using the app with me.

The Palo Alto, Calif. startup released an update today with significant improvements for Apple’s iOS devices (the Android update is planned for tomorrow). There are now new icons for navigating the photos — you can see photos from events that are “Nearby”, a “Feed” of relevant photos, and a “History” of groups that you participated in. And yes, there are actually words underneath each of the icons explaining what they do, so you don’t have to stare at icons and wonder. Color says that the update also improves the app’s speed.

Even though these changes are relatively superficial, I’m still encouraged. By making it a little easier to navigate, Color is taking a step in the right direction, though there’s still lots of room for improvement. Pham has admitted that there were problems with the user interface and promised that there are more updates coming soon.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] of skepticism — which only intensified when people tried the app and found it confusing. Color has since launched a redesign to make the app easier to use, though that hasn’t necessarily answered the question of [...]

  2. [...] lorsque les gens ont essayé l’application et l’a trouvé à confusion. couleur a depuis lancé une refonte pour rendre plus facile l’application à utiliser, mais qui n’a pas nécessairement [...]

  3. [...] of skepticism — which only intensified when people tried the app and found it confusing. Color has since launched a redesign to make the app easier to use, though that hasn’t necessarily answered the question of [...]

  4. [...] lorsque les gens ont essayé l’application et l’a trouvé à confusion. couleur a depuis lancé une refonte pour rendre plus facile l’application à utiliser, mais qui n’a pas nécessairement [...]

  5. [...] lorsque les gens ont essayé l’application et l’a trouvé à confusion. couleur a depuis lancé une refonte pour rendre plus facile l’application à utiliser, mais qui n’a pas nécessairement [...]

  6. [...] in April, we noted that  $41 million certainly gives a company room to experiment, and this note indicates Color is experimenting. Just maybe not in the way you would imagine a [...]

  7. [...] in April, we wrote that $41 million gives a company room to experiment, and this note indicates Color is experimenting. Just maybe not in the way you would imagine a [...]

  8. [...] in April, we wrote that $41 million gives a company room to experiment, and this note indicates Color is experimenting. Just maybe not in the way you would imagine a [...]

  9. [...] any further, let’s address the $41M gorilla in the room, also known as Color. The company had one of the most spectacular launches the mobile industry has seen, raising $41M in March 2011. Color’s app lets people organize [...]

  10. [...] any further, let’s address the $41M gorilla in the room, also known as Color. The company had one of the most spectacular launches the mobile industry has seen, raising $41M in March 2011. Color’s app lets people organize [...]

  11. [...] on, let’s address the $41M gorilla inside the room, often called Color . The corporate had the most spectacular launches  the mobile industry has seen, raising $41M in March 2011. Color’s app lets people organize [...]

  12. [...] any further, let’s address the $41M gorilla in the room, also known as Color. The company had one of the most spectacular launches the mobile industry has seen, raising $41M in March 2011. Color’s app lets people organize [...]

  13. [...] any further, let’s address the $41M gorilla in the room, also known as Color. The company had one of the most spectacular launches the mobile industry has seen, raising $41M in March 2011. Color’s app lets people organize [...]

  14. [...] a week after the launch, the app got a significant facelift, perhaps to answer publicly posed questions about what users were actually supposed to do with the [...]

  15. [...] a week after the launch, the app got a significant facelift, perhaps to answer publicly posed questions about what users were actually supposed to do with the [...]

  16. [...] les utilisateurs ont exprimé leur frustration, certains des concurrents les applications ont été publiquement consonance de rabais sur Color inconvénients , en ajoutant à une pile croissante de la publicité [...]

  17. [...]  infamously raised $41 million before releasing their mobile app in March of 2011 and has since become the punchline of countless [...]