UIEtips Article: Web 2.0 — The Power Behind the Hype

Jared Spool

August 7th, 2007

UIEtips 8/07/07: Web 2.0 — The Power Behind the Hype

Over the past few years, the world of web application development has seen the emergence of a new set of approaches such as APIs, RSS, and Folksonomies that have come to be known collectively as Web 2.0. These new approaches allow developers to easily create innovative applications at a rapid pace from common elements found lying around the Web.

The speed and ease at which these new applications were built is what is keeping us very excited about the continued success of the Web 2.0 world. With a little skill and motivation, people can create new applications in almost no time at all. As the skill requirements for building these applications decreases, it opens a whole new world of possibilities for development teams.

With new sites and services popping up, such as Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, and Twitter, it’s easy to see how we’ve entered a new era of social networking, and we’ll continue to see the Web evolve as we realize its full potential to create optimal user experiences.

In this week’s UIEtips, we’re reprinting an article I wrote in 2005 where I examine how design teams and individual developers alike can harness the power of APIs, RSS technologies, Folksonomies, and Social Networking to approach hard problems in new and effective ways. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

Read today’s UIEtips article.

Do your applications take advantage of APIs, RSS, Folksonomies, and Social Networking? Does it intrigue you? Scare you? Bore you? I’d really be interested in your thoughts. Join the discussion below about this week’s topic below.

[Want to learn more about Web 2.0? Check out the UIE Virtual Seminar, Web 2.0: The Power Behind the Hype. In this 90-minute presentation, Jared M. Spool will outline how Web 2.0 works, and discuss how APIs, RSS, Folksonomies, and Social Networking can help designers expand and improve the user experience.]

2 Responses to “UIEtips Article: Web 2.0 — The Power Behind the Hype”

  1. Paul Rouke Says:

    A great article Jared, and very much in tune with how my user experience agency is tackling client projects. The applications we are providing our clients are moving more and more towards utilising web 2.0 tools and interactions. We’re delighted that the majority of our SME clients are embracing the opportunities that introducing blogs, user groups and more richer user experiences can bring to their businesses.

    At the opposite end of the scale one of our blue-chip online home shopping clients are looking at newer ways of interacting with their customers, to create greater brand loyalty whilst continually delivering more personalised user experiences. They are also looking at the most effective ways of becoming more open as a business and a brand, all of which are leading to exceptional projects which we are excited to be apart of.

    One area of web 2.0 that I am particularly keen on is whether the increased take-up of these newer technologies and interactions may in fact for some businesses lead to a reduction on their sites usability and user experience. I know that a key benefit of introducing Ajax functionality for instance is to improve the UX, but as there are still businesses large and small that hasn’t yet fully realised the potential of making our web 1.0 sites user friendly, and hence driving conversions and ROI, I expect we will see these newer technologies introduced without appropriate planning and testing, resulting in poorer usability. I have posted a recent article titled Web 2.0 – can/will it be bad for usability which may be of further interest.

    What I feel will be a growing industry as businesses seek to ensure that their web 1.0 and 2.0 user experiences allow users to achieve their site goals and whilst removing any barriers in key areas such as thecheckout processes, will be user testing.

    In fact, from my commercial experiences I am baffled by the lack of budget allocated to this highly significant process, which in part has led me to post a recent article on the business benefits of user testing which I hope will be digested (and actioned) by business owners and project managers big and small.

    I hope these comments have been of use and I’ll look forward to your forthcoming articles.


  2. Tim Says:

    How you got through this whole article without using the word “mashup” once, is beyond me. =)

    Nice job though!

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