Open Source Linux Solutions » Web 2.0 Open Source Linux Solutions: Linux Programs, Reviews Programs, Ruby on Rails, Tutorials for Web 2.0 Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:50:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Web 2.0 time: never redesign buttons Tue, 12 Feb 2013 17:50:22 +0000 admin There’s something that I really can’t understand about the web. Every time people design a new web application, they usually re-draw “buttons” using Photoshop or similar programs.

This is very common especially in this Web 2.0 time, where anyone wants to have cool brightly buttons.

HTML provide us a full feature set of web controls and each of them can be used through a simple tag on a page.

Why don’t people like them?

Why do they need to change what’s actually working well?

I’m not a designer, but have to admit that it happens to me sometimes. The truth is that every time we design a new web site we partially waste our time in users confusing tasks. They gratify ourselves, not the end user.

Let me explain why. A user can learn everything, but I’m pretty sure that there’s something which he’s already used to. It’s the operating system he has chosen (or not) to install on his PC.

The great part of the PC users have a Wintel platform and I suppose they know it quite well. In any case, if a user has chosen a different OS, he probably likes it and he knows what its basic user interface controls mean. They definitely know what a button is and how it looks like.

Every time we decide to re-design the application buttons we could confuse the users, forcing them to learn a new metaphor.

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Thoughts on Registration Sat, 02 Feb 2013 15:39:05 +0000 admin In this week I faced the problem of creating a registration procedure for a new service we’re going to release soon.

I tried to wrote down all of the features a professional and web 2.0 compliant registration form must have, then I summarized this features in a list I’m going to share with you hoping you’ll find it useful.

Need to be fast

It’s a crucial point. You need to ask as few informations as possible and let the user complete his profile after his first log-in.

This is because a lot of times I found myself bored by the quantity of fields I need to fill to obtain a username and I don’t want users gave up while registering to my service.

E-mail confirmation

Ask for an e-mail address during the registration procedure and send an acconunt-confirmation e-mail to that address.

Doing this way the user has to put much attention on the data he is putting in your fields and you can also do a little spam prevention ( that will be enforced with the next point ).

Use logic Captcha

I don’t like captcha, I don’t like to have to demonstrate I’m human, in the future I hope we will find a way to recognize bot registrations in a painless way ( there is already something moving in this directon ) but for now the best I found is to use logic captcha like BrainBuster, a Rails plugin that works very well.

Well that’s all for now, I’m now thinking on the best way to implement a payment system…

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Web 2.0 aka old stuff that works Sat, 02 Feb 2013 15:31:01 +0000 admin Last week I won an auction on eBay and I go my first Macintosh SE. I started it up and soon I discovered it was perfect in its simplicity, both in design and software. Less than 1 MB for the OS. Black and white 9 inches display.

Clear and readable fonts. Great attention to details. Of course others aspects were not so good as well. No ethernet network, no Internet, no browser, no email, no calendar and cell phone sync.

That machine make me think of Web 2.0 and what it really means to me.

Macintosh SE has really advanced features for that time and the same characteristics are equally amazing now.

Is Web 2.0 a new way to conceive and design UI and code?

Often Web leaders talk about 2.0 as a shift in the paradigm, as new way to think about the Internet, more and more as the right place to interact each other, to meet people, gaining fame and fortune.

New rising tendencies, new startups setting the standard, new way to exchange services and information.

Aggregation – both info and people – get a specific role about new Net-rising stars.

Who first understood that, first got millions of aficionados transformed into users – the registered ones – attracting advertising and media companies. I always try to view the version 2 of the Web as something that simplify my daily life through the Internet, leaving my old emotions in terms of taste, style and feeling untouched.

For me it’s like using a stylish and old fashion car of the 60s – in Italy we got the mythical FIAT 500 – or an icon of the technology history like Macintosh in 1984, equipped with the best of innovation we get nowadays, behind the scene. Something like “simplicity in usage preserving emotions”. Seamless simple.

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WhatAList is coming! Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:12:50 +0000 admin Finally, we did it… we are delivering yet another list-rate-and-share-it web application: Ruby on Rails framework and Ajax interactive facilities.

If web 2.0 is something about a better user experience, great design, usability and user generated content, than rethinking a simple activity, like creating a list, ordering items, and sharing them with your fellows, it’s the best yardstick of testing your team ability to deliver web 2.0 applications, be agile, and generate great content.

Creating a list application means making better what is already simple, you have to reinterpret in a new way or just to give a different viewpoint to something which is near to everyday life, you are creating “web for ordinary people”.

We know we have some remarkable rivals such as Amazon Unspun. But we don’t feel strictly competitors with Unspun since we share a common base of intentions: leveraging communities, giving simple solutions, at the same time useful and funny.

Though it’s not a mystery that we are asking our users to compare our “style” with that of Unspun and of other list-and-rate services in order to give us a feedback on which let them feel the better user experience.

So what are you going to see in WhataList? First of all, take a look at the teaser and enjoy the design.

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Web 2.0 Map Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:05:06 +0000 admin While searching for a complete picture of Web 2.0 galaxy I found some nice collages of application logos: the one from Ludwig Gatke is amazing.

Then if you are looking for a more schematic map of Web 2.0 you can find some over-connected graphs and little more: from the original meme map by Tim O’Reilly, to the very crowded tag-cloud image from Markus Angermeier.

Tim O’Reilly picture is a brainstorming mind map: an image-centered diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of information related to Web 2.0, simple but useful.

On the other hand Angelrmeier work is fascinating but a bit cramped; it looks like a mix between a tag cloud and a concept map, you enjoy the easy of use and immediateness of tag clouds mixed with the downward-branching structure typical of a concept map.

I found Angelrmeier’s work very expressive, but too complicated and static, therefore I set my mind to improve the tag-cloud representation of Web 2.0, starting from that image, but working on a different graphic format.

I was aiming at a more dynamic image, easy to edit, and more linked with external information sources, basically much more readable. I selected the .svg format Scalable Vector Graphics and created it using Inkscape

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