Web 2.0, Ajax, and thoughtful graphic design are commonplace in web applications. However, they significantly raise the standard of usability work necessary for your web-app to be trusted, loved, and evangelized.
Open source projects often suffer in terms of usability because of a lack of resources, expertise, or a methodical approach, and this can undermine otherwise fantastic efforts.
This session presents ten easily implemented real world usability techniques that came directly from work on customer-facing products. They make systems easier to use, more productive, less prone to user-frustration, and more successful.
Danger button hovers: Rather than interrupting a user with an “Are you sure…?” popup that seeks to prevent an unintended action, make a button feel “dangerous” beforehand with a red background on mouse-over. You’ll be surprised how effective it is at reducing unintentional presses. You’re only finished when you’ve added a facility to subsequently undo the action—and ensure it’s more findable than FireFox’s “undo close tab.”
Sigurd has been living and breathing the internet since 1995 when the City Council of Wellington, New Zealand provided the region’s only internet service; then entirely text-based and only 2400 baud. Add a grandma who taught him C before he got to high school, and the rest all makes sense.
In 2000, he co-founded SilverStripe with two friends, which has since made hundreds of websites and web-applications using open source technology. Sig’s focus is now on building up the community around their open source platform for building websites and webapps, SilverStripe CMS. (www.silverstripe.org)
The SilverStripe open source project was launched in early 2007 and in a matter of months, Sigurd rapidly attracted community and credibility to the project. He got the project involved in the Google Summer of Code program (where Google paid for ten programmers to add features), solicited over a hundred thousand downloads, got it in use with the 2008 U.S. Democratic Party campaign, and built up a loyal community of who have voted to rank SilverStripe a winner in the global Open Source CMS awards, beating many years-established projects.
Aside from his beautiful partner and daughter, Siggy loves adventure: snowboarding, turning up in a foreign city, reading books in the sun, and being conned into dancing Salsa for the Wellington city’s street carnival.
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