I thought it was generally understood that lifespan on the web is pretty transitory. Yes, there are a few stayers such as delicious, flickr, twitter, facebook, etc. But as myspace proved, there are no guarantees. What people seem to struggle to relinquish is the pointless quest to find the one web service that will do everything they want. And so the google plus … firstly, its nothing new – better usability and some fancy features, but it’s reinvention (the foundation of the www), slick marketing and of course the usual ramp of twitter celebrities plugging it. Its tedious – what is wrong with spreading yourself amongst many services – there are plenty of ways to combine and deliver your data in variety of ways. Maybe the real issue is education, not simply providing more of the same, in prettier packages, google!
Google Plus do offer features to integrate into, and pull in data from, other networking sites. Cross-posting is useful, but largely helps the cross-posting web service provider’s website statistics. Again, cross-posting is nothing new – just another site to add to the list. Aggregators are best way – simply services to pull in data you enter on websites into one area. Now some backwards web services don’t offer decent API or even RSS feeds of your activity. They won’t last long. This is basically just to say think carefully before diving into google plus – I have a feeling you will just end up disappointed – again.
Now lets see if a day goes by without multiple people declaring “death of twitter” or “death of facebook”. Of course they will die out – and so will google plus.
If I wanted to be cynical I would say that when the user truly had power to have opinions, a lot of testers suddenly dropped out. Within a project where the user is dictated to, i.e. “don’t question us”, testing can proceed in an orderly manner. Business and development requirements only change if deemed necessary, but are not based on any kind of user contribution. Not surprising since human nature, in general, looks for shortcuts.
10 Heuristics for User Interface Design
“When it comes to abstract thinking, humans have
extremely limited brainpower. For example,
short-term memory famously holds only about
7 chunks of information, and these fade from
your brain in about 20 seconds.”
Short-term memory and web usability
It never hurts to re-iterate the basics, but also painful that they have to be. The 10 fundamentals listed here should be caught by code quality checks. It is important in testing not only to verify from front-end, but havign a quick check behind the code to check for standards such as meaningful ALT tags, form field ids and labels, etc. There are several tools to help the tester with this, but really development should be addressing this, as these simple pitfalls can b e easily avoided observing coding standards. Not applying this standards at this level is just plain laziness.
We never have time to do things properly, but we always have time to do them again
10 Usability Crimes You Really Shouldn’t Commit
I am working on project around classified, and naturally decided on wordpress to do this solution. I would appreciate any feedback regards usability of the site. As well as being to register, it is possible to login using Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/AOL/Google ids. Feel free to go nuts – this is a test site regularly backed up, so know no testing boundaries 😉