hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

December 03, 2005

Web 2.0 interface design checklist

ORIGINAL POST (December 3, 2005)

Congratulations, burgeoning Web 2.0 application developer! Your fresh or not-so-fresh-but-still-full-of-AJAX-y-Ruby-esque-goodness Web page err... Web 2.0 application is nearly ready to start collecting email addresses from potential users or interested tire-kickers or would-be media moguls. (Please note, should you actually launch a product or should your existing product ever escape the world of BETA is completely inconsequential at this point.)

Let's get to the hype! Whoa, tiger. Before you start proliferating the hype about your product throughout the wonderful world of blogs, let's take a deep breath and go through one last checklist.

Ready? Okay. Here we go...

  • Are you using gradients? If yes, please continue. If not, begone vile charlatan.
  • Do elements of your Web page appear to be made of glass or, at the very least, do they look like they have been coated with a high-gloss lacquer? (+30)
  • Do elements of your Web page appear to have reflections as if the Web page on which they sit were a vapid pool or a slightly useless mirror?(+50)
  • Are you using really big type?(+10)
  • Are you using really big text boxes for submission forms (+30) and, if so, do they use really big type?(+50)
  • Are you using any of the following:
    • Gradient buttons (+5)
    • Glassy buttons (+10)
    • Glassy gradient buttons (+30)
    • Glassy gradient 3D buttons (+50)
    • Glassy gradient 3D buttons with reflections? (+100) (Editor: If you answer "yes" to the last item, then bravo, Michelangelo! Bravo!)
  • Are you using backgrounds with monochromatic diagonal lines on them? (+10)
  • Are you using backgrounds with monochromatic diagonal lines and gradients? (+30)
  • Have we asked if you are using gradients? (+10)
  • Do you have an obvious blog link as part of your layout (Note: It doesn't matter if you actually publish a blog)? (+20)
  • Are you using gradients? (+30)
  • Are you using really big type? (+30)
  • Are you using CSS to call out random areas of text, as if your site had been attacked by a group of rabid undergrads wielding highlighters? (+30)
  • Are your font choices serif or san serif? On second thought, nevermind that. Are they big? (+20)
  • For the love of Mike, are you using gradients? (+30)

  • Have you ever used the phrase "degrade gracefully"? (+10)
  • Have you named your Web 2.0 application with an unintelligible eNormicom-meets-cutesy-gibberish name? (+30)
  • Did you create that name by dropping a vowel or using the domain suffix? (+50)

  • > 300: Sorry for wasting your time. Get back to beating away the venture capitalists, purchasing video iPods for your staff, and blogging about how cool you are.
  • 200-299: You are among the Web 2.0 elite. Please remember us when your site comes out of beta, should that ever occur.
  • 1-199: Nice try, poser.
  • 0: Web 1.0

UPDATE (March 12, 2007): One of the best things about this blog being called hypocritical? I can write a post like this one and then do things like hello, kumquat. I'm still tallying the final score for that one: gradients, check, big type, check...

UPDATE (August 8, 2006): Have your Web 2.0 tool all built? Finished the Web 2.0 design checklist below? Did you use really big type? Oh, wait. Now, get your pitch together by listening to a bunch of the Web 2.0 executives with whom you'll be competing.

UPDATE (December 5, 2005): Aww, with everyone in such a giving mood, it appears that the holiday spirit is alive and well! No sooner do I get through Kathy's generous helping of buzzwords than I stumble across this gem: I just read a post about 10 Tips to Better Blogging by Matthew Oliphant over at Busines Logs [sic]. Great stuff. Particularly number [insert your favourite number here]. Check it out.

UPDATE (December 5, 2005): Great minds think alike. And that's probably why there is someone else out there--right now--thinking about the same kinds of smart things that that wicked-intelligent Kathy Sierra is thinking. And writing things like "Have you updated your buzzwords?" And once I find out who that may be, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, feel free to read my lame post, below. Or go read Kathy's better post, instead.

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Web 2.0 interface design checklist

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