— 20 February 2006 —

Web 2 — Usability Sins

I am always a sucker for mini rants on usability issues I run into as a user of this “web” thing I keep hearing about. Nice to see others are too.

A post last week on Google Blogoscoped, by Philipp Lenssen, entitled Usability Sins 2.0 caught my eye. But what really interested me was the ensuing comments. People vent on the problems they see. Others commiserate. Some don’t have the same troubles as others.

Which is why getting a large sampling of data is important. Some people will have a problem with your search results, others won’t. I think one of the hardest things about being a designer is truly trying to capture what will be a usability problem. Fixing problems is usually pretty easy. Getting consensus is the problem.

Also nice to see in the comments on Phillipp’s site is David Sifry chiming in to speak on some of the feedback about Technorati, “…if there’s anything that I or Technroati can do to help fix things up, we definitely want to know about it!” So just in case Mr. Sifry is listening…

Technorati has come a long way since I and others used to spend time roling our eyes, laughing, and commenting on how piss poor their service was.

I now use it every day. I use many of the features. But one feature I still long for is that Technorati be able to filter mentions of me, or Business Logs, or 9rules into at least two different contexts.

  1. Show me who is linking via a blogroll-style list.
  2. Show me who is linking via having something specific to say on their site.

Okay, just two is enough.

I like to know who has my many me’s in their blogroll, but I am usually more interested to see if someone has something specific to say about me or the different watchlists I follow. Is this a high priority piece of functionality that should be incorporated yesterday. No way! But I figure I would request it.

User feedback is an important thing to track, and as users of Web 2.0 products, perhaps we should be more User 2.0 and blog about the problems we have or the features we desire. How else are these companies going to get better for us? My request above may be the only one of it’s kind, or it may be the 1000th request. And maybe for Technorati, 1000 requests are when they decide to do something about it.

* Note on the title of this post. While “Web 2.0” as a moniker isn’t going away any time soon, do you really see anyone ever saying, “That site is SO Web 2.4!” Neither do I.

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