Monday, February 5, 2007

Web 2.0 - Now With Leaner, Meaner Apps!

This month's edition of Entrepreneur Magazine features an article on Web 2.0. While most know and understand what Web 2.0 is and how it can make an impact to business, it got me thinking about how the applications we have installed on our desktops and laptops compare to the applications that are emerging as part of the Web 2.0 movement. Basically, in exchange for programs with lots of bells and whistles that we can only access from devices we own, we get programs with just a few bells and whistles that can be accessed from any computer, anywhere in the world with a web connection.

Most people have a word processor like Microsoft Word installed on their desktop or laptop computer. I've used it for years and have learned about its many features. When it gets down to it, I only use a small percentage of the features to accomplish my word processing tasks. Is this something that sounds familiar to you? The innovators behind the Web 2.0 movement recognized this and you can see that many of the online apps available today such as Google's Docs and Spreadsheets have just a select set of features and functions.

It's all you want, it's all you need. It follows John Maeda's first law of simplicity: reduce

The Web 2.0 movement and the apps that are a part of it point to a principle touched on by author & entrepreneur, Seth Godin, in his book Small is the New Big. Large and bulky - bigger, better and faster is out. Small and simple is in. This thinking is fundamental to user-centered design. Design to your audience with only the features and functions in mind that will support their jobs, tasks and expected outcomes. Nothing more, nothing less.

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