Drew Cogbill | Thesis Blog

works in progress.

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Sign up and use Pigeon! (713) 574-9488

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/***Edit 2 April 2009 - Pigeon now has an official home online. Please visit callpigeon.com.

I’m looking for people sign up and use Pigeon, my thesis project.  Pigeon is a social network that you access through a phone call.  Pigeon gives you one voice message that lasts one minute to tell your world what’s up.  You can think of your Pigeon message as a voice status update, an audio micro-blog, or space for citizen journalism.  To learn more about the idea of Pigeon watch a video I’ve made on youtube or on vimeo.  Sign up for Pigeon by calling (713) 574-9488.

Once you sign up, you will need to add contacts, so feel free to send this along to any friends along with your new Pigeon number.  My pigeon number is 888-888.  Add me so I can hear what’s going on in your life and you can hear what’s up with me.

Of course this the system is still under development, and I’m excited to have user contribution shape my steps moving forward.  Any and all with an opinion and a little patience are invited to join.  There is currently only one US Pigeon access number - (713) 574-9488.  I also have a Skype code that can be used to call in; please contact me if you are interested in the Skype code.

Feedback about the system can be recorded on Pigeon by dialing “6″ at the main menu.  The comments you record will be sent straight to me.  Any comments about what you like and what you don’t like is greatly appreciated.  At certain times, I will prompt for specific feedback.

I’m also interested in observing people at different stages of Pigeon use (sign up and after using the system for a certain amounts of time).  If you’re interested in that observation, please contact me (and maybe I’ll contact you).

Written by drewcogbill

November 17th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

User testing

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During the last week, I’ve had a variety of people try out the sign-up and contact making aspects of Pigeon.  Beyond testing technical implemenation, I did of research into how to talk about the system.

People generally thought that the sign-up time was appropriate.  Most didn’t want to spend more time than they did completing sign up.  I’m still considering if and how profile information should be collected to make searching for contacts easier.

There were some issues in understanding the voice prompts, especially the phrase “member number”.  I may change that to “Pigeon number.”  The chat excerpt below was discussing this issue.


Some users were given the system as is, but I gave later ones some context, telling them that “Pigeon gives you 2 minutes to tell your world what you’re up to.”  I want a really catchy phrase that can sum things up quickly, and I want to be able to talk about the system in more detail clearly. One of the harder things for users to understand without that prompting was that their messages are available to all of their contacts.

I think a set of instructions should be played as soon as sign up in complete with the option to skip the instructions if desired.  These instructions could also be avaliable as the last choice on the main menu.

I also lengthed the amount of avaliable wait time for entering a desired member number, because as a tester said “what if they don’t know you need a number?”

Written by drewcogbill

October 1st, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Prototypes

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