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Designing web-based applications…Designing the Obvious

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Robert Hoekman, Jr. is about to take the stage…okay he’s actually been on stage prepping for a few minutes, but you know what I mean.

Rather than being about designing websites, per se, rather it’s about web-based apps.  Now here is a great thing about Robert…he had a whole presentation set up and he scrapped it!  Why?  Because he realized that his slides didn’t match well with us, his audience.  Kudos to him!  So while he disclaims that this is untested and off the cuff…he got huge applause because I’m guessing that we’re going to get something really awesome and tailored to us as bloggers

“Without this coat I’m just a random guy, with this coat I’m a professional speaker”

Yeah not related to the content…but funny.  Yeah you had to be here.

Okay design…get rid of the extras.  Remove the unneeded.  Look at your blog, what are the essential elements. What is essential..

Search…comment count…the post…colour contrast between text and background (so you can read it…white on white or black on black don’t work)….About page… (pausing to look at my blog for a moment…eek)…post title…author name (yes for multi-author blogs…maybe for single author)…permalinks…RSS…

Just think about it.  Tag cloud widgets?  Maybe not.

The About Page and the ability to set context is very important.  Interestingly enough the theme I settled on for my blog has these features built in.  W00t!

Servicing the important elements on a page…

What will help your readers do what you want them to do?  That’s what servicing means.  If you want comments…make the comment form more obvious…make the comment for more inviting.

RSS…gotta make it easy, make it simple.  Remember, we’re still on the edge of users.  Even if you don’t think you do, if you’re reading this, you probably do.  If you’re here at WordCamp you do.  Speaking of which I need to write a page “just what is this RSS thing anyway…” for folks.

You know those sessions where you don’t think you’re learning stuff?  Where the act of listening is just giving you more ideas?  Yeah this is one of those.  I’m trying to focus on what Robert, but man too many ideas I have in my head!

Crap.

Whew…most popular posts and related posts are getting thumbs up!  Got both on my blog!  In fact just like the widget that I added recently and see this post how I did it…for top posts.  Related posts…well that’s the core of my WP installs.

etre.com–colour contrast checker.  Good tip!  You gotta make sure people can read your stuff.

Speed (actually the lack thereof) kills!  Gotta load fast.  Guess what all those goofy widgets we add cause we think they look cool?  Yeah they slow down the page load.

And why does MySpace stay popular when the design sucks?  Because it replaced Friendster and was faster…and it exploded onto the scene it almost can’t be stopped.  Until Facebook gets bigger.

Matt Cutts of Google is up next…typing might be sparse…you’ve been warned!


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