TrafficDito App Makes its Showbiz Debut (LOL) on TV Patrol!
I almost wet my pants when I heard the news. Okay, not really, but finding out that the TrafficDito iPhone app was featured in last Sunday’s broadcast of TV Patrol was pretty cool! It got the rest of the team pretty pumped too. For lack of a better metaphor, we felt like the proud pageant mom seeing her baby’s on-stage debut. *sheds a tear*
Alongside Weatherbug and PDC World Disaster Alerts, TrafficDito was mentioned as one of the apps to download on your smartphone (iPhone, in our case) to prepare for the rainy season. With rain comes flooding, and with flooding comes crippling gridlocks on the road. Of course, that’s where TD comes in — giving you guys that oh-so-important heads up to keep you from ending up like good ol’ Chris Lao.
We managed to find a replay of the episode c/o the ABS-CBN TV Patrol website, or you can check out this super quick vidcap of the original:
A big thanks to the awesome Abe Olandres of Yugatech.com for the mention and Ms. Apples Jalandoni for covering the story. And of course, all the people who’ve helped spread the word about TrafficDito! We’re just happy to help out in any way we can. As of Monday morning, TrafficDito was number 7 on the Top Free Apps list on the App Store! With more people reporting, we only hope that TD becomes even more useful to motorists and commuters out there.
For even just a little while, TD beat out Google Chrome. Awwwyyeaah. LOL.
Again, big high fives to everyone for all the support! Hope you continue to send in your traffic reports, whether on the app, or using the #TrafficDito hashtag on Twitter! Don’t forget, each report still counts for a P5 donation from us to Tulong Dunong through The AralDito Project. :)
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan
The Sky(way)’s the Limit! (and More Mobile Updates!)
TrafficDito shows @SkywaySOMCO some lovin’
Dude, pare, bro, choooongggg… Skyway reports are like, so totally on the TD app na! Let’s go after hitting up Town! #conyokids #southjokes #justkidding
Good news, peeps from the south! The TrafficDito iPhone app now displays reports from @SkywaySOMCO on the app’s map view. Updates from Skyway’s Twitter service show up as the familiar colored dots on TrafficDito’s map. Each of the little jellybean-looking markers represent an exit along the highway so you know exactly what to expect once you hit that ramp. Sweet!
On stream view, you’ll also see text versions of the reports. This will make ‘em easier to search for, and is much more convenient for those on TrafficDito.com from their desktops or laptops. Props to @SkywaySOMCO for doing an awesome job at keeping everyone updated. Now that their reports are on TD too, we’re hoping to reach and help out a lot more people!
iPhone app reports now on our Twitter feed!
This one’s a win-win for both app users and those who follow us on Twitter. Our TD horse interns were suckered into taking on the 24/7 task of tweeting out reports received from the app.
C5 - Libis NB Heavy Traffic - jaytrixz via TD for iPhone— TrafficDito (@TrafficDito) April 19, 2012
This means that if you don’t have an iPhone but follow us on Twitter, you get all the goodness of crowdsourced traffic reporting on whichever device you use to check Twitter. And for those on the app, well… your reports just got THAT much more helpful!
More on Mobile (especially for you non-iPhone peeps!)
The TrafficDito mobile site is now optimized for non-iOS smartphones. So for everyone who’s asked, no, we’re not a bunch of Apple fanboyz (or girlz). We didn’t want to leave you guys hanging so we put a lot of time into developing a version of TrafficDito.com just for Android and Blackberry users! It’s the full functionality of the TrafficDito website, perfectly scaled down for your Android or Blackberry. :)
The TrafficDito mobile site running on a couple of team members’ phones
The AralDito Project’s race to P10,000!
As of writing, The AralDito Project has already collected 1,973 reports, only 27 short of raising P10,000 for the Tulong Dunong Foundation scholarship grant, and we’re not stopping there! So far, the response has been pretty awesome with all the reports and tweets you’ve been sending in. Keep ‘em coming! Remember, each report, be it through your iPhone or the #TrafficDito hashtag, we donate P5 to the grant.
Those counters are live and you can check ‘em any time, even when on the go! If you’re on the TrafficDito mobile site, just scroll down and tap on “Standard View” to see the desktop version of the site.
We look forward to hearing from you guys so please give us a shout out! Leave a comment if you’ve got any more suggestions, questions, anything, really! Of course, you can always reach us through our Facebook and Twitter pages too!
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan
No TD for iPhone? No Problem! 3 Reasons You Should Report Traffic on Twitter.
Since TrafficDito’s first day out of the shop last October, we’ve gotten a lot of questions regarding the app in particular. A lot of them more or less go like this: “wala bang app para sa Android? BB? Nokia? Buti pa Snake at Space Impact, pwede sa 3310 ko.”
And if you’ve ever asked us this question, you probably already know the answer. :( Unfortunately, the TrafficDito app is only available on iOS. No, it’s not because we’re a bunch of BB or Android-hating Apple-worshippers, it’s just that developing for a single device made a lot more sense to our really small team.
But the beauty of TD is that the app is just a small part of what TrafficDito allows you to do. You can still report, check on traffic, and ask for help… through Twitter! In some ways, reporting through Twitter works just as well… and heck, can sometimes be even better! Here are some reasons why:
You Still Support The AralDito Project
If you follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page, or visit the TrafficDito website at all (we would be very very sad if you’re reading this and haven’t done any of those), then you’ve probably already read about The AralDito Project. Each time you report traffic with the #TrafficDito hashtag, your tweets will count for a P5 donation from us to the Tulong Dunong Foundation’s scholarship grant.
It’s super simple, really. Take something you already do (don’t lie to me, I know you’ve ranted about traffic on Twitter at least once), and throw in the #TrafficDito hashtag. It’s that simple. With 1,200 reports and counting, raising over P6,000+ to date for a Tulong Dunong scholar, each tweet counts!
The TD Twitter community is willing to help you out!
Something we’re extremely proud of with TD is the fact that it allows people to help each other out. Remember, what’s behind each report isn’t a traffic camera or airborne chopper, it’s a fellow commuter or motorist stuck on the road hoping you don’t end up in the same 2-hour traffic crawl they’re in.
That in itself is awesome, but apparently, TD users on Twitter really take it to another level.
We were surprised that when we RT’ed tweets from people asking for possible reroutes, detours, or questions we couldn’t answer, other users responded! It was awesome! Check out this example:
Our awesome follower Rosalie helping out a complete stranger!
If you turn on the geo-tagging function on Twitter, your reports still show on TrafficDito’s map view!
Location based services haven’t taken off in the Philippines as much as they have in other countries (at least for now) so geo-tagging tweets hasn’t really caught on (YET!). Sure, only people with the app can view TD’s map view at any time, but that doesn’t mean non-iPhone users can’t contribute to it!
Make sure you’ve got that geo-tagging feature on!
The map is a great way to visualize bumper-to-bumper congestion in certain areas. Having more geo-tagged tweets alongside app-generated reports means we can post a lot more screenshots for you guys, whether through Twitter or Facebook. (meaning you guys on BB or Android can see ‘em too!)
So to answer the ever-looming question of “wala bang app for Android? BB?”, we’ll have to say no… but reporting through Twitter is just as good, if not better! (yes, we like big BUTs… and we cannot lie.)
So really, there’s no reason for you non-iPhone users to miss out on the fun! If anything, there’s a big chance you’ll even get more out of tweeting out your traffic reports. For one, you’ll get to talk to the TD horses who manage our Twitter accounts.
They can get a bit chatty so don’t be surprised if they not only answer your tweets, but start talking about the latest episode of Nandito Ako. They’re sensitive like that.
So keep tweeting out those traffic reports! And please don’t forget to tell your friends!
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan
TrafficDito Version 1.3.0: NB? EB? OMGWTFBBQ!
With March just right around the corner marking the beginning of the summer months, expect more of the blazing afternoon heat we’ve been experiencing these past few days. Not really being huge fans of being outdoors, this just meant more time for us to stay indoors and work on TrafficDito! LOL. The latest version of the iPhone app is live and ready for download on the App Store, still for the low low cost of… absolutely nothing!
Roads Ain’t All North or South
To say that Metro Manila’s roads are confusing is an understatement. While most of our main roads head either northbound or southbound, some of you guys have pointed out that there are a couple of ‘em where it wouldn’t make sense to say you’re headed in either direction.
Worry not then, fellow traffic-haters! We’ve tweaked the TrafficDito app to reflect Northbound/Southbound along roads like EDSA, C5, Commonwealth, etc. and Eastbound/Westbound along Ortigas, España, and Shaw Blvd., among others. Even along those winding and zig-zaggedy roads, the new compass should be able to detect your bearing without any problems!
“Nasa C5 Libis na ako papuntang Ortigas pero BV yung traffic!”
We also realize that all these NB/SB/EB/WB acronyms can become a pain sometimes. For all the directionally-challenged out there, we’ve also changed the way TrafficDito spells out where you’re headed. The TD app now indicates the next major intersection or area you’re headed towards. If you report on the app, instead of “C5 Libis SB” for instance, it’ll now show “C5 Libis SB to Ortigas” on both the app and on TrafficDito.com’s stream. Awesome. Now I don’t have to use the sun to show me whether or not I’m headed east or west.
So make like a traffic ninja and head on over to the App Store and download the latest update or the TrafficDito app if (for shame!) you haven’t yet!
Also, don’t forget! After the recent launch of The AralDito Project, every single one of the reports you make on the TrafficDito app count for a P5 donation from us to the Tulong Dunong Foundation Inc.’s scholarship grant. Help send a teen to school just by reporting traffic. :)
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan
The AralDito Project: Help Send A Teen To School With Your Traffic Reports
With all the excitement and kilig surrounding Valentine’s season, we at TrafficDito have decided to spread the love in a slightly less traditional (and less cheesy) way. We’re firm believers in the importance of education, and with our team’s motto being “Just do good yo!”, instead of the traditional flowers and chocolate, we’ve decided to launch The AralDito Project.
Beginning February 15, each time you share traffic updates through the TrafficDito iPhone app or through Twitter, TrafficDito will be donating 5 pesos to the Tulong Dunong Foundation’s scholarship grant. Aside from helping fellow commuters avoid traffic, the 5-peso donation really makes each report or tweet you send in 5x more helpful! The total donation will count towards sending a less-privileged but deserving public school student to Ateneo, Miriam, or St. Scholastica’s for high school.
No iPhone? No problem. Just make sure you include the #TrafficDito hashtag in your tweets so we can count them!
As our partners, you’ll be able to track the project’s progress through counters we set up on the TrafficDito.com homepage:
The TDFI scholarship grant, first started by Fr. James O’Brien, S.J. (or Fr. O’B as he was fondly called), has been around since 2005. Run by the Tulong Dunong Foundation, Inc., it represents the life-changing opportunities given to 1,000 students to date.
With your help, we not only hope to make TrafficDito a better and more accurate service for fellow commuters, but also be a significant contributor to something as awesome as Tulong Dunong.
So c’mon guys, keep those reports coming and please help spread the word! :)
An Inside Look at TrafficDito’s Top Secret Headquarters
Nestled somewhere within the concrete jungle of Metro Manila is TrafficDito HQ. Because we’re
extremely shy and bordering on anti-social actually a secret group of ninjas, we like keeping ourselves hidden from public view. We would, however, like to give you guys a little bit of a sneak peek by showing you a few things we found lying around the office that make working here pretty cool. I guess it’s part of how we’re able to stay so positive about traffic! After all, nailing a headshot on an unsuspecting co-worker right on the forehead with a NERF gun really helps with venting out the frustration.
I think one of the of the best things about being a grown-up geek is that we no longer have to ask our parents to buy us toys. Since we’re all toy-lovers here at TD, it’s not that big of a surprise that we ended up having our our very own Nerf weapons cache. It’s truckloads of good fun… at least until we have to start picking up the darts.
…a.k.a. video games. But really, for whatever reason, our little
30 15 minute COD breaks are a huge help in terms of keeping us on our toes, particularly after we have big lunches. Aside from being good for developing a healthy competitive environment, they also teach us the complex and intricate language of trash talking (even on the simple game of Wii table tennis, the dissing gets pretty intense). We’d like to think it’s character building.
Because we’re such health buffs and picky eaters, we try to maintain a significant stash of energy and fiber-rich… junk food. We like our chips and chocolate. Stashes like the one shown in the photo up there aren’t known to last very long around these parts. Okay fine, so we’re not exactly the healthiest eaters, but hey, chocolate is brain food!
As for soda, let’s just say we all need different sources of caffeine! How else would we be able to create TrafficDito without any of these energy boosters?
We’re all about letting creativity loose around the office. Our collection of team member originals has grown significantly over time and we display them proudly on our whiteboards. Personally, I find that the level of sophistication and technical skill displayed are at par with some of the greats. Sort of. Well, they sure trump these!
Super Fancy Room Decor
Aside from the assortment of whiteboard art, we’ve also got some pretty fancy decor littered around the office. Our windows in particular are decorated with the latest in eco friendly (they’re solar-powered!) and state-of-the-art designer decor.
Weird things like giant Krusty the clown piggy banks somehow find their way in here too. My personal favorite happens to be our beloved Taylor Swift standee:
Gotta show some love for Mario and Star Wars too…
We’re not the neatest people in the world. Luckily though, we make up for it… with technology! We got this nifty little robot to do all the dirty work (see what I did there) for us.
An Air Multiplier Fan Thing
This one’s our latest office acquisition. Honestly, there’s not much more to say about this thing aside from the fact that it looks pretty damn cool. It’s just a plastic circle and yet I still end up scratching my head like an idiot when I try to think of how it works. Now that I think of it, I could’ve just asked Google. *facepalm*
Wanting to take our internet poker skillz to the next level, we figured we’d give the actual game a shot. It always looks cool on TV, after all. Unfortunately, our inability to maintain decent poker faces meant that our office poker nights would be short-lived.
Hot Sauce and Del Monte Banana Ketchup
Because we practically live on pizza, burgers, and fried chicken, our supply of hot sauce and ketchup is crucial to maintaining our balanced diet. The hot sauce is also pretty handy to have should anyone get caught sleeping on the job.
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… the TD Stream!
I was hoping for some ice cream too. :(
In our earlier blog post, we talked about TrafficDito’s formative stages. At its earliest stage as a young budding beta app, barely able to stand on its own, it was pretty much a one trick pony. All it had was a traffic stream, allowing people to view the crowdsourced twitter reports from the TD website. It’s this stream though, that served as the foundation for the fantabulous final product it is today!
I’m not too sure what we were thinking at the time, but for some reason, we thought these “chicklet” indicators looked cool. A report with a red chicklet indicated heavy traffic, blue for moderate, green for light and gray for mixed traffic conditions. When the user tapped on a report, he would see the Report Details screen. Yeah, yeah.. she wasn’t much of a looker at the time, notice how the red search bar suddenly turns blue. Meh.
If you look closely, you might notice that we tried to get a little fancy by adding color gradient to the reports’ backgrounds. Also, As a traffic app, it made a lot of sense to include a map in the Report Details view (Driving and maps a good combination? D’oh! Well that sure took a while!). Every report sent from the app would show a “Map” icon. This way, tapping on a report would show users exactly where the report was sent from.
We were sold on the whole gradient idea for the Stream. We fiddled around with more and decided to give it this rounded effect. Unfortunately, we had to dump it anyway. It was the only tab that featured a gradient and made all the other tabs feel sort of unloved. I guess we were getting too fancy. Sigh.
The fifth version of the Stream was updated with simplified traffic condition icons. We also removed the legend because the icons looked like buttons. During early usability testing, some users mistakenly thought that the legend could be tapped and used as filters. It also took up space that made the Stream screen look cluttered. So of course, we ditched the whole legend thing altogether. After all, how hard can it to be? Red = bad. Green = good.
With the decision to incorporate reporting directly from either Stream or Map view, we then relocated the Report Button on the upper right of the screen. This was the sixth makeover for the Stream view! For first-time users of the app, we added a welcome callout inviting people to report. Making it huge was, of course, all part of the plan! This callout only shows once and won’t ever appear again, unless the user re-installs the app.
The map was repositioned above the report so that the users could see the location first. Doing this puts more focus on the map since users can see the information of the report from the Stream anyway.
Little Big TD Details: They Animate While U Wait!
On the TrafficDito website, searching for traffic reports involves filtering through millions and millions of tweets floating around the world. So while our furry elves manually stalk your tweets, looking for EDSA-related tweets for example, we figured we’d
try to distract you give you a little something nice to look at since the internet speed in Manila is just about as fast as C5 traffic on a rainy payday Friday.
While waiting for the “official” design for the loading graphic we’d use, we found this adorable animated jeepney GIF and used it as a placeholder in the meantime. Honestly, it was really cute and I was pretty bummed to see it go when we put up the final loading graphic.
Check out the new loading graphic we used below:
The candy bar loading graphic matches the site better this time. Just like fashion, a good design must be coherent. The new loading graphic is the perfect accessory for TD’s red red ensemble.
How about you? Which do you like better - the jeepney or the candy bar loading graphic?
Pimp My App: TD Gets Tricked Out!
Over the past couple of weeks, our crew of code monkeys have been hard at work on the app. We’ve streamlined the user experience for y’all and also made reports more comprehensive and detailed. Of course, our developers couldn’t help but throw in another Easter egg in the mix. See if you can find it! (Tweet us if you need hints!)
You can find this app update on the App Store right now! Give it a try if you haven’t already, and check out TrafficDito’s awesome new features. Here’s the low down on a few of the changes you’ll be seeing:
1. Tweet out your traffic reports!
We’ve integrated Twitter into the way you report! Tapping on the Twitter button on the report screen means TrafficDito automagically tweets out all the details from your traffic report. This means that you get to share the good stuff with your followers who aren’t on TD. They get your real-time traffic updates on their Twitter feeds! That’s an easy 1 million good karma points right there. Next time you feel like ranting about traffic on Twitter, do everyone else a favor and do it through TrafficDito!
2. NB/SB? OMG!
With your iPhone’s handy-dandy compass, TD now includes the direction you’re facing in its reports. Yessiree, you will now see NB or SB in your reports! Don’t worry if you’re the directionally-challenged type, the app does all this for you!
3. No 3G? No worries!
4. Express yourself with Emoji
We at TrafficDito believe in the art of self-expression (through somewhat cheesy cartoon emoticons). It’s a social app, so how about throwing in a bit of personality with your reports? Now there’s no need for reports to look boring. Look at those cute little cartoon heads and tell me they wouldn’t cheer you up in traffic!
5. Problems on the road? Who you gonna call?!
TrafficDito, of course! The app’s assistance directory contains all the need-to-know numbers for any emergency situation. Need a cab? Car battery out of juice? Need your car towed? The TD directory has got it covered.
We’re excited to have you guys check out all the wicked cool new features! Of course, if there’s anything else you’d like to see on TrafficDito, just hit the comments below or email us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from you!
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan
For that Easter egg, here’s a little hint: Trout.
Little Big TD Details: Pac-Man Chompin’ it up on TrafficDito
Sometimes, we have the tendency to overlook the little things. Small as they may be, these details contribute to the overall feel of the design. That’s why these blog posts are meant to put them in the spotlight, hence the title “Little Big TD Details.” In the TrafficDito website and app, we added these small details that we’re going to talk about in a series of mini blog entries. Kind of like the Twilight Saga, only more interesting.