Remember that classic story that you parents told you everytime you complained, asked for something or misbehaved? Mine was always the “classic” myth about having to go to school everyday in the blizzard with a foot of snow, walking uphill both ways.
One of the area’s of a web site that is often forgotten is the error or maintenance page. Here’s a couple of creative examples of major names, Adobe, Twitter and LinkedIn that I’ve grabbed over the last couple months. Would love to see any great examples you might have to share with everyone.
If you are a web developer or manage several sites, Mosso is a great hosted solution for $100 per month you can setup as many sites, urls and manage them independently. It allows for easy web-based management if you want to offer to your teams or clients and you can setup individual pricing or offer as part of your package.The service allows you to quickly deploy a new url and have a server setup within an hour. They offer dns, email and ftp support as well as configurations with MYSQL, Linux, or Windows and you can switch post launch with a couple clicks on the management site. The email service, offers pop3, smtp as well as a webmail service and spam filtering which you can control for each domain. They also offer a cloud service now, which we are in the process of testing, similar to Amazon’s service and they utilize Limelight’s network. If you are dealing with lots of video or large files it worth giving it a try to improve download speeds for your audience. We’ve been using them for about a year now and have deployed dozens of sites. Strongly recommend. They are also owned by Rackspace. Learn more at http://www.mosso.com/
Great article for experienced or new designers as well as programmers to help improve usability in web or application design.
A great article and series of examples on using and implementing AJAX. If you are a designer or programmer you need to have Smashing Magazine in your bookmarks and visit at least monthly for great articles and design and programming.
Manager-Tools.com has been offering podcasts for helping you improve your business and leader skills since June 2005. They have over 200 casts available via itunes or via their website and I would highly recommend checking them out and subscribing to their feed. Some of my favorites:
in various location. They also offer a premium service, begun in July 2008, with built-in chapter marks and slides if you are on a iPod or iPhone.
Silverback is described as “guerilla usability tests” by its makers Clearleft, it allows you to use a mac and the app to record the user onscreen movements as well as their facial expressions using the built in camera on your mac. Its pretty incredible, for $49.95 and you can try it for 30 days for free. It auto highlights each click and allows you to review user activity and movements. I think its a great way to introduce to your team or clients to the ability during testing or focus group testing to also record inexpensively the movements and use the test data to help perfect your web site or product. Check it out at http://is.gd/12wf
Quick overview of what it does and how it works.
Alltop.com is a website launch by Guy Kawasaki, its described as an online magazine rack for the internet of popular topics. The design is clean and easy to use and allows for easy viewing of your favorite subjects from design, technology, medicine, gadgets to specific products with hundreds of listings. Content is updated hourly.The interface starts with a menu where you can select a hot topic, look under a list A-Z or use the search topics field. I would suggest checking it out for an alternate way to view a specific topic and a breadth of content from one central location without having to google or search each day.
I selected Tech as the categories and you can see a list of topics.
Once you find a topic of interest you can bookmark that url such as http://gadgets.alltop.com and you can visit the updated content daily. Moving the mouse over a headline displays the opening of the web site.
I’ve been using the Jing application on a mac and pc for several months now. They have had several updates and if you installed the original version last year, you should download and reinstall because the original version, at least on the mac, did not auto-check for updates. The latest rev has several bug fixes and refinements in its interface. Jing can auto start and be available with a click of a button or by a keyboard shortcut. What’s great about Jing is you can select to grab the entire screen or a portion of the screen as a still or as a video. Looking at the still grabs you can easily annotate with text, add arrows or highlights which makes it a great for bug recording or pointing out parts of graphics that you need your team to address, adjust or work on. The video tool allows you to easily save a screencast to share with a client or friend and either post, email or use the Jingproject.com site to instantly share via a link. Strongly recommend adding this free tool to your toolset and taking advantage of its features. Jing now offers a pro version to enable better video compress plus several additional Pro features. Jing was created by Techsmith.com which has several great windows products including Camatasia, Snagit, Morae, and Uservue.
Example of a marked up screen:
Check out from an web 2.0 application stand point, this site is amazing. It takes the concept of blogging or maintaining a web site to a whole new level by allowing you to easily e-mail just about any type of content and it will auto build the page or entry for you. It could not get any easier. The design of the site is beautiful and clean. It the first major web site that has truly amazed me in the past couple of months and its a great new tool to use to share, blog or post content. The site will auto post the same info, if you want to twitter, flckr, as well as all major blogging tools. I highly recommend giving it a test drive and I’m sure you’ll jump on board. http://is.gd/eNfP