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Joseph C Lawrence: Columnist
Joseph C Lawrence is the lead UX and Interaction Designer at his company Clickshape, and has run the gauntlet of e-commerce businesses and digital agencies in London, Taiwan and South Africa, last working as a UX Designer at Quirk in Cape Town. He likes to explore the ways in which we interact with technology, software and the web, especially the role that psychology and our evolutionary history has on the decisions we make, and the way we experience things
OK, so it is a bit of an inflammatory title for an article, but I think for a lot of web development projects, it is now true. A few years ago, the standard process for building a decently complex website involved an initial stage of producing wireframes. These were generally static, greyscale 'blueprints' for the layout of the website, illustrating where content would be positioned, what kind of UI (User Interface) elements are to be used, and how data will ...
As it stands, we have moved through a few core paradigms in terms of how we interact with computers and software. From the earliest days of physical levers and punchcards, through text (DOS etc.), onto the GUI and windows/Mac OS type interfaces, and recently now touch, gesture and voice. These last three have signaled a major shift towards a more natural way of interacting -- making use of the kinds of behaviours we understand intuitively, either because we have evolved ...
Google+ is clearly Google’s most successful foray into the social web thus far, and it looks set to get a lot of usage. One thing puzzling many commentators, however, is the business model.
Google have stated that they will not be putting advertising on Google+, so its primary business model is seemingly being foregone. Other very successful Google services and products, like Google Docs also don’t have advertising on them, but Google Docs is by no means as obvious a ...
It has always been the case that customers can end up knowing more about a business than its owners.
In the world of modern web based businesses with vast user bases however, it is so much more prevalent and significant that it should form an integral part of business strategy. Smart web businesses do this, as do smart 'offline' businesses with the help of their web presences.
This user expertise can take many forms, and can be leveraged in many ...
The number of times that Google has failed at delivering a successful ‘social’ product is in danger of rising to an embarrassing degree. Google Wave is no longer actively developed for use; Buzz has experienced low usage, and seems to most to yield little value; Latitude never gained traction like Foursquare has; Orkut (Google’s Facebook like social network) is perhaps its most successful project but can claim little popularity outside of Brazil and India.
Recently the latest attempt to make headlines ...
For a long time now, the company that built its business on search and advertising has been rooting around in the electricity and energy arena. In February 2010, Google was granted an order by the US government allowing it to buy and sell energy at market rates.
At the time, the line from Google was that it was not interested in becoming an energy supplier, but rather in buying clean, green energy and using the green credits it would get to ...
The modern, real-time web allows us to get instant notification of news and events around the world. More often than not, the stories that are newsworthy enough to spread quickly through the social web are ones of dramatic turmoil, and disaster.
Even in the past two months we have seen the important role that social media has played in spreading information about the unrest in the Middle East, and the Tsunami in Japan. Despite what we see every day, we ...
Not too long ago, the only application of the word ‘virus’ in the context of IT and the internet was a malicious piece of code that wreaked havoc with your computer. Fast forward a couple of years, and whilst ‘virus’ still means the same thing, it is overshadowed by ‘Viral’ – the mystical holy grail of online marketing. Every online marketer and content creator dreams of creating something that ‘goes viral’, spreading like wildfire through the web: a snowballing meme ...
Not long ago, the ‘apps vs. the web’ debate only really made sense in the context of mobile. Now, at the initiative of companies like Apple, the issue is spreading not just to tablet computers, but to the desktop as well. Apple’s App Store has ported the concept of low cost or even free Apps from the mobile arena to the desktop, and brought with it the same controversies for both users and developers.
What is an App?
The term ‘App’ obviously ...
Facebook started rolling out its new messaging platform at the end of 2010, adding new functionality as well as a new interface to the service. One of the most widely mentioned new functions is the option to get an ‘@facebook.com’ email address, allowing friends (and of course people who don’t know you at all) to send a message into your Facebook messages inbox via email.
Another key new function is the addition of text messaging integration – a service with ...