Just installed Fallon's Skimmer app and as much as I'm uncomfortable with the Air platform I'm really enjoying it. They set out to achieve a few simple goals and have pretty much succeeded.
No-one cares about this sort of stuff anymore, but I followed the links back to Fallon's website and was impressed by their tech+culture choices, they're getting really close to best-practice. The Skimmer app and the website both follow a similar look-and-feel but each makes use of its particular strong points.
The website is built in reasonably semantic xhtml (except the multimedia insertions but hey, it's an ad agency) and not only does the code carry meaning, it validates! I only got one warning on the homepage for an unencoded URL path fragment. It's also almost accessible, also unusual for site in this space.
The blog pages are served up using a nicely made skin on top of Wordpress and video and images are served from good old Flickr and Youtube embeds just like Mom used to make 'em.
Both the website and the desktop app are trying hard to fit closely with the frequent webuser. The diggerati and the road warrior, the MBP brigade already twittering-up a storm about SXSW would feel welcome and respected. Hell, I bet even Cory Doctorow himself wouldn't mind checking out a couple Chrysler ads in the "our work" section.
The desktop app is called "Skimmer" and its purpose is very simple. Aggregate a few key social networks allowing the user to both push and pull content. Once the content is in the app, suggest a connection with other Skimmer users to share content and status.
In one sense this is really no big deal. What I like about the user experience is the clarity of the purpose and the honesty of the deliverable.
I would have preferred a bit more feedback when loading assets (and come to think of it, someone needs to tell that designer about colour contrast and visibility) and would have preferred either a web pureplay or a cocoa app but I can't deny the experience is on the whole very impressive.
Finally, if i was a client looking to better understand how my digital media spend was going to loop back to ROI I'd be comforted by the whole experience of the Fallon planning team.
They built these digital assets with the best intentions (participating in internet culture to benefit from it--sound familiar?) but the case study should help help put a client's mind at ease. They're showing they understand basic tracking and monitoring and have demonstrated the quality of their digital planning in the process.
If I was still in agencyland I'd be blogging my little heart about this case study;-)