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Re-spinning the web

September 2nd, 2010, 37 comentarios

When trying to come up with a new solution for something that people are already used to, there’s a high risk of getting things wrong. The new thing has to be better that the old, widely adopted one. On top of that, it has to work as well as (if not better than) the old, broadly tested one. Let’s see some right/wrong examples:

Say that you need a drop-down list and you can’t get by on the HTML select element.

Right: Google Translate keeps classic keyboard shortcuts for the list items (that’s me typing POR+ENTER):

Wrong: Zara focuses on aesthetics, but forgets about fucntionality (that’s me failing to select Madrid with the keyboard):

Or… say you want to bring music social networking to the desktop.

Right: Spotify gets the better of both worlds: super fast desktop class performance and persistent back and forward navigation. But above all, it gives everything —artists, songs, users— an URL.

Wrong: Ping, Apple’s just born social network is horribly slow. It displays a “connecting to iTunes” message everytime you click on something, most of its objects are not linkable and the navigation is a mess: suffice to say the Home icon takes you to… the iTunes Store.

How one word can change the whole thing

September 2nd, 2010, Sin comentarios

More on pattern recognition:
I have just activated GMail’s Priority Inbox in my personal account. It is meant to lower the time you spend checking email. Or the times you check email.
Because the default page title has changed from “Inbox” to “Priority Inbox”, I keep thinking I have a conversation open on the GMail tab, and I can’t help clicking on it to return to what would be its “normal” state (“Inbox”.)

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