That’s a lot of CHI !

About CHI, GUI and stuff.

Creating the accounts… (Dries)

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Facebook

I already had a Facebook account. So I used this one. Since I use Facebook on a frequent basis I  already knew my way around and I didn’t have any problems adding the CHIKUL09 group or adding new friends.

Twitter

I also already had a Twitter account. I didn’t use it that much though. When I was looking for a way to filter all messages containing the #chikul09 string I didn’t find any search or filter function on the site. So I decided to install the TweetDeck application that we saw in class. It took me a few seconds to discover most functionalities because of the overuse of icons in preference over natural language. But, all in all, the search function wasn’t hard to find. So I managed to easily add a panel with the search results for the items containing the #chikul09 string.

Delicious

I knew what Delicious is but I hadn’t used it since I use the bookmarking functionality of my browser. While registering I thought the form was doing live validation. But when I submitted the form I noticed it didn’t. It seemed like I read over the password requirements that were put in a lighter grey colour. And since I thought the form was doing live validation, I didn’t bother reading them. This struck me with another problem. I had to fill in the captcha control again. Since I managed to fail doing this the second time I had to retry. But instead of only having to fill in the captcha again I also had to fill in my password again. The second step was pretty straight forward, since I’m very aware of the capabilities of JavaScript bookmarks. Adding these 2 bookmarks increased the ease of use for the service enormously later on. I skipped the third step though, because I’m not sure if I want to change from browser bookmarking to using a service like Delicious.

Using Delicious also wasn’t one of my best experiences. The interface looks a bit boring. The colours are monotone, the boxes aren’t rounded. But of course, this doesn’t have any effect on the usability of the site. What did bother me was the lack of spacing and the fact that they didn’t put any emphasis on items that are more frequently used or more important. This made me go over the screen a couple of times before I could find most functions. This in contradiction with the user interface of WordPress which I’ll talk about in a moment.

I added my first bookmark and tagged it with a #chikul09-tag and made sure it was public. After this I tried searching for other blogposts tagged with #chikul09. But it seemed the search function didn’t search through the tags. So I had to find another way. First I spent some time going through my posts and the page displaying all my posts tagged with #chikul09. But I failed to find a link that brought me to the page I wanted. (Or maybe I just looked over it.) It took me some time before I eventually found the “tags>explore” button which gave me the ability to filter all posts by tag.  Though I’m sure this time around I’ll be able to find it. But just to be sure, I decided to bookmark the page in my browser 😉

Netlog

Next, Netlog, the Belgium-based social network. I used to have an account for this site. And since it hadn’t change that much since that time, I didn’t have any problem navagating around. Though, I couldn’t find Erik Duval.

That little problem aside, the registration went fluently, it was devided in couple of short clear pages. All pages fitted completely within the browser window so there was no need to scroll. The first page only contained the required information, nothing less or nothing more. It contained live validation so it went fluenty. The second page only contained one captcha (I love those things. Really. </sarcasm>) So finally I arrived to the last page I was told I was going to receive a mail.

The mail was pretty straight forward. I clicked the link it contained and ended up on a page with 2 options, based upon which the site would determine the prefered privacy level. I selected: “Contact houden met vrienden” because I wanted the highest level of privacy. Though I would’ve prefered the site giving me the exact difference between both options. Because I had to read the small print to even know why I had to choose. I skipped the following pages of the registration which asked for additional information and another one to automaticly add friends.

WordPress

I’ve been using the lastest release of WordPress.org for some time for development reasons. I mainly chose WordPress because of it’s excellent user interface. I wanted to know more about it so I dugg up some articles on the wordpress site. Two great articles I found worth mentioning are one about the redesign of the dashboard and another one about the usability tests they did on the previous version of wordpress and the prototype of the new GUI. 

The registration went well, they used big clear input fields and clear labels. The main form was rather short, it almost fit completely within the browser window. Again, it seemed like the page was using live validation, which it didn’t. But this time didn’t bother me because the form was rather short and the password field wasn’t cleared when I made a mistake ! This is the first time I’ve seen this. 🙂 The site menu and logo were smaller than the content so they didn’t attract any of the attention. The notification page that told me they sent me an e-mail was also amazingly clear. They highlighted my email address, so I would notice it immediatly. I didn’t have to go over the page to notice what was going on.

The mail also was a no nonsense, clear email. I clicked the link and ended up in the administration panel of my account. I looked around a bit to find a way to add a weblog. But I didn’t find it. So a bit frustrated I went back to the WordPress.com main page where I found a clear and emphasised link to add a new weblog. So I added it and invited my fellow group members.

The End.

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Written by Dries Janssens

February 16, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Opdracht 1

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