Asterpix – Part Deux – The Review

My Thumbnail Through the magic of the Internet I got a comment from Nat Kausik who works for Asterpix (update 2015 – asterpix is now spammy). It still amazes me when this happens (and ups my faith that they’ll stick around because they are listening and responding to the user).

Nat requested a little more detail regarding what I’d like to see improved in Asterpix. I’m not really sure why he needs more information. I think “it’s not quite as slick as I’d like” is a pretty detailed and useful feedback. 🙂

Here is what I’d really like to be able to do with Asterpix in my dream world. Please note- I find Asterpix to be very useful right now and I intend to use it. I encourage others to use it. I really feel they’re providing something that no one else is and I’m very grateful for that. That being said, here’s what they could do that would result in my getting a “I Heart Asterpix” tattoo.

  1. I’d like much more control over my notes. I want to be able to control their shape, fill opacity/color, line thickness/color/opacity. In a really perfect world I’d be able to use a tool something like the polygon creator in Google Maps to plot points to make irregular objects.
  2. I’d like to know what html elements are supported in the notes. It may be on the site but I couldn’t find it.
  3. Not to get too crazy too soon but wouldn’t it be awesome if I could add images w/ png transparencies to the videos as notes. So when I came to a portion of the video talking about pineapples vs pears I could have an image of both pop up and become links to a web site or just contain information in note form based on user selection.
  4. Does a mouse over on a note have to pause the video? I can think of times when I’d like things to continue flowing and the text to remain up as long as the user keeps the mouse over the note. Could this be an option?
  5. I’d also like to be able to manually control the note’s time on screen if I choose to. Maybe I’d like to have a multiple choice option at a certain portion of a video but there’s no visible elements that work for a selection. Right now I’m stuck. My notes will only show up for a fraction of a second. Naturally, I could think of that when making the video and include the necessary visible elements but there are issues with that if the video is already made or is made by someone else (both of which will be likely be the case for most users). This might be done by expanding the rectangle on the time line or just typing in X seconds in the note box.
  6. If I make a note invisible, I don’t want it to show in the time line either. That’s more an educational and possible ARG type of need. If I’m making the note invisible I probably want people to have to search for it by carefully paying attention to information/clues. It’d be nice to be able to have no visible clue it’s there even on mouse over (if that option is selected).
  7. The way notes expand is semi-intuitive but my first instinct is to click on the note rather than on the expand square (maybe b/c I’m a Mac guy). It makes more sense to me to make clicking on the note expand it because if a link is included it’s designated in the text and you could click out that way. I understand that doing the opposite probably gets more people to Google (revenue?) but in the end I think a better user experience will result in more users over a longer period of time.
  8. That brings up the fact that if I don’t put in a URL link one is auto generated for me by Asterpix. I’m fine with that but I’d like it to be more clearly denoted. Right now, I can’t tell any difference in the normal view between links I’ve added and those created by Asterpix. I want it clear that while this link to Google may be useful it is not made by me. That’s key for a variety of reasons, user trust being the most important.

So that’s what I’d really like from Asterpix. I figure it should only keep a cadre of programmers busy for the next several years. And since it’s all free right now they’ll have no trouble paying them to indulge my desires. On the plus side, I really see some strong educational uses for this option. My wants might make things a little too sophisticated but maybe having two views is an option.

Can any of y’all think of anything you’d like to add/change/improve?

Asterpix- have I made any monumental blunders? It’s quite possible and I will gladly retract/modify/apologize. Let me know.

Comments on this post

  1. Chris Craft said on December 13, 2007 at 11:19 am

    And that was supposed to be better feedback than “not as slick”? 😉 Kidding, nice work interacting with startups. They need to hear from us!

    Chris

  2. Tom said on December 13, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Yeah . . . I got a little carried away. This might be a case of “be careful what you ask for” but we’ll see what they say.

    Tom

  3. Jeff DeMoss said on March 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Tom,
    Thanks again for the feedback. Just wanted to update you on a few items from above:
    #3 – We now have a feature that allows you to add image hotspots. You can find the ‘Insert Image’ button in the add note interface by clicking the ‘Tracking On/Off’ button.
    #5 – We now have functionality that gives you better control over the hotspot duration. You can specify the note start/stop times by turning tracking off (click the ‘Tracking On/Off’ button) and setting the duration in the widget. With tracking on, you can clip the note duration when you edit the note.
    #8 – You can now expand/maximize the note by clicking directly in the note callout.
    #9 – A URL is no longer auto generated if you don’t specify one

    Thanks, Jeff

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