Chris is a Melbourne-based web developer and open source advocate. He has particular experience in the community, nonprofit and social enterprise sectors, with a focus on UX and business analysis. Aside from technology, Chris loves to learn and spread ideas from diverse topics like the environment, history, philosophy, music, reading, writing, games, and much more.
Cloud UX: Dude, Where’s My File?
The old paradigms in software design have been on life support for a long time.
Who under 30 can relate to the metaphors many interfaces are based upon: desktops, folders, files, disk icons and cutting and pasting with scissors and glue brushes?
Who in their life has ever kept a file inside a folder, inside a folder, inside another folder? I can’t even imagine what that would look like.
The cloud has promised a lot, and certainly delivered some of it. It is often used as a marketing term to sum up a lot of disparate technologies and a business term to solve all your problems.
For this article, I’ll use the term ‘cloud’ to mean “distributed networks of systems”, encompassing computers, mobile devices and services that you may either have a permanent connection with, or check once in a while.
We’re talking about the kinds of services you probably use everyday, from GMail to Dropbox to Twitter and zillion others.
We will look at recommendations for the experience behind these services, as well as failures, success stories and examples of what could be in the not too distant future.
Hopefully, it might even inform your decisions for creating your own ‘cloud’ integrated services.
Lack of Feedback
The main failing across a lot of these services is the lack of user feedback. Users like to feel like they’re in control (though often in the case of cloud services, they aren’t).
With a lot of cloud providers, it’s usually obvious when things have gone right (i.e. it’s working), but often it’s not so clear when things have gone wrong.
Feature-zilla! Will Featureful Kill Usable on the Web?
When did you last use the references feature in Microsoft Word? Or truly needed any more than about a quarter of the filters in Photoshop? When talking about feature bloat in applications, our minds often slip to thinking about Microsoft or Adobe software and the statistic that most users only utilise about 20% of their […]