December 19, 2007

Culture of fear

Filed under: poor experience, technology, usability, user experience — Lorenzo Wood @ 7:22 pm

I noticed that the Sky+ user manual uses the following diagram to explain how it should be connected:

Confusing Sky+ diagram

Can anyone find a more unnecessarily scary instructional diagram?


December 13, 2007

Multimap sells to Microsoft

Filed under: buy-outs, mapping, Microsoft, multimap — Warren Hutchinson @ 10:23 am

Last year we worked with Multimap, redesigning the UK internet granddaddy and bringing it back to life with a new UX and web-two-of type over haul.

It needed it.

I have to say it was one of our finer achievements last year, good work by all.

Well, yesterday Sean Phelan (founder) and his partner Audrey sold Multimap to Microsoft for an undisclosed sum. Sean started the outfit about 10-15 years ago from home and has been at the helm ever-since, head firmly under the bonnet shepherding Multimap through highs and lows, including the .com bust of 2000. CEO, Jeff Kelisky will remain as Mutimap moves into a new era.

Multimap will remain separate from Redmond and act as a wholly owned-subsidiary of Microsoft but will pseudo-join its Search and Local team. It stands to reason that Multimap will benefit from some favourable data deals.

Multimap is incredibly popular here in the UK and easily provides the best quality maps. Fact. The purchase will not only increase Redmond’s foothold in the UK mapping market which is currently dominated by Google and Multimap. The acquisition will also significantly improve MS’s local advertising remit.

Multimap has over 1300 b2b clients, including Yell, Ford, Tesco and Foxstons, mostly poviding store locator type functionality. It’s also prevalent on sites such as Autotrader from which is reaps massive free usage. Multimap has never advertised and yet is a popular service when polled in the high street.

Also, the improved geospatial skills now lend themselves to some potentially exciting location based mobile services. How long have we been talking about location based services? How long have I been wanting Multimap to properly break some mobile services.

All this considered, Micromap has some exciting times ahead.

It’s rumoured that Multimap was sold for about $50 million.

Create a free website or blog at