I worked for two years at an amazing Web start-up. The technology had a hink or two but was truly transformational. Imagine being able to go to a website and move the pictures, text and video around, simply by dragging them. Not your website, someone else’s. Imagine right clicking on just about any object on the web copying and pasting it to your site. Then, having the ability to move, resize and add text to it.
It’s what the Gods imagined before an earthling invented HTML; a drag and drop, copy and paste web publishing world. That world was called Zude.com.
I was reading about the new HP webOS (via Rachel King at ZDNet) today and one tester of the cool interface on the Touchpad tablet found closing apps by dragging them to the top of the screen not intuitive. (Close the window perhaps?) The person said he would not have figured it out on his own.
This brings up something very important in market these days, especially in the area of innovative web technology. First User Experience. For Zude, there were 3 unintuitive user behaviors that needed to be taught for first-timers to get the awesomeness: Drag and Drop From Anywhere, Everything Moves, and When in Doubt Right Click. Simple tutorials would have launched this product into the stratosphere. The product was complicated and revolutionary. The promise was “the fastest easiest way to build a website.” The promise laid their like a lox without the proof.
When webOS launches, if it is as revolutionary as HP says, they need to not publish a 60-page manual. And they don’t need to offer 6 tabs of intuitive help. HP should find the 3 most exciting, transfixing features and celebrate them. If they are big enough, we will find the rest. 3 and out. Peace.
PS. By the way, Micorosoft Windows 7 or Mango, or whatever it is going to be called, should be named Tiles.