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Showing posts from September, 2011

Facey and The Social Graph

Sounds like a good film doesn't it?  Well, last week, Mark Zuckerberg et al, announced the next phase of Facebook development and focus at their F8 conference.

Whilst his stage presence still has a lot to be desired, the rich vein of social networking foresight and feature list is as thought leading as ever.  Whilst Facebook can claim it's 750m (or whatever the number is this week) of signed up users, those users have generally been focused on social interactions.  The show and tell of life.  Updates, sharing pictures, engaging with lost contacts, far-flung family and the like.  You know how you use Facebook.

Over time those interactions tried to branch into different categories.  Bands and businesses created pages.  Groups evolved.  Apps became pandemic.  Facebook contains a lot of folks and this attracts advertisers, attention seekers and information distributors.

However, the concept of the social graph is taking those interactions into the next level.  The idea being that …

Simple Design for Happier Users

How many buttons does Google have?  Yes, exactly (2 is the answer if you can't be bothered checking).  OK, so they are a few hyperlinks to click as well, but as far as buttons associated with a form are concerned there are just two.  How many on Twitter?  Once logged in there aren't any!  How simple can it get?

One of the many things the product design team at Scholabo have to manage, is how to control the amount of information each of the end users will be exposed to.  For those who don't know Scholabo, it's an online communication and content distribution site acting as a conduit between schools and parents.  The parents being the consumers of information and the teachers and schools being the producers.

One of the key aims was always to make the decision making part for the end user as small as possible.  By that, I simply mean taking the Convention-over-Configuration approach to how a user actually uses the system.  For 80% of the end user use cases, we aimed to im…

The DNA of Search

The internet.  It's a big old place.  Full of stuff.  Files, stories, movies, music, pictures, news, reviews.  You name it, the internet has a virtual online version of it.  But how do you find what you want?  Via a search engine of course.

The search engine of choice is generally seen to be Google.  Obviously there are local variations to this, with Baidu in China for example and other more specialised engines such as ChaCha which focuses more on human analysis of the results instead of pure computational searching.   However, to generally get the most out of the internet you need to search, index and categorise what you want to view.

The basic idea behind a search engine is firstly for it to create an index of available web pages.  This index is created by automated robots or spiders, that crawl as many existing public web pages as possible, checking links and identifying the contents of the HTML pages to allow searches to be performed.

A user would then enter a list of keywords…