Feb 27

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Creating Engaging User Experiences

Adobe's holding a special product preview summit today called Engage, focused on Adobe's new tools for creating engaging user experiences. I love Adobe's framing of "engaging user experiences" as a touchstone for the web going forward. (And yes, the tools are amazing, especially Apollo, a tool for building offline web apps. (Note: Apollo's chief software engineer Ed Rowe will be demoing Apollo at Etech. There will be an Apollo public labs release later this month, with full availability later in the year.)

I'm sure that there will be lots of news from other bloggers at the summit. I wanted to start with a reminder of what's important when creating engaging user experiences: put the user first.

In his introduction, Adobe's chief software architect Kevin Lynch was talking about how their new integrated tooling will allow companies to re-use media assets across many different types of devices and applications. This will doubtless be very compelling to ad agencies and publishers, but this kind of re-use is potentially a dangerous weapon in the hands of people who don't understand the web 2.0 idea that John Musser calls pay the user first.

Is what's easiest for the producer of content (asset reuse and the ability to create integrated experiences across platforms) really what's best for the user? Only if content developers use that power wisely. Kathy Sierra reminds us that success in the social media era is about creating "I rule" moments for users. So when I hear a software vendor talking about creating "I rule" moments for content suppliers, I worry that they're on the wrong track, unless they work to offset the natural tendency towards "efficiency" for the provider rather than great experiences for the user.

In this regard, if you're thinking about building compelling Web 2.0 applications, the most important blog to read is not TechCrunch or Read/Write Web or even O'Reilly Radar, but Creating Passionate Users.

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 12   | Sphere It

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Comments: 12

  Neil Cauldwell [02.27.07 11:08 AM]

I'd also recommend taking a leaf out of Mr Miyamoto's book;


  Boris Savic [05.01.07 03:19 AM]

First of all I wish you good day.
Now, I need a little help. Hope someone will answer my question. I'm a student in Croatia (computer science) and two months ago I finished Macromedia web seminar which goes into you working licence. Now I have a licence from Macromedia but for my job I need a adobe licence for Photoshop. Can anyone explain to me if there is a chance that my Fireworks licence would be equivalent to Adobe, because now they are the same firm?
Boris Savic

  Boris Savic [05.01.07 03:21 AM]

sorry, I misstyped my web...
if anyone wants to send me an explanation, you can send it on my mail: Boris.Savic@gmail.com

  Adner [07.31.07 05:41 AM]

"Can anyone explain to me if there is a chance that my Fireworks license would be equivalent to Adobe, because now they are the same firm?" - YEs its a good question, I am courious too.


  Robert [07.31.07 05:54 PM]

I don't think that Adobe or any other company will ever be able to manage, modify UX. User Experience describes the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system. The user should be on the first plan, we can not implement technology in user's satisfaction.

  ibolya [08.01.07 02:53 AM]

I totally agree! Some people might think that using a Rich Internet Platform like Flex ensures Usability and a great User Experience, but that certainly isn't true.

Developing ANY application should always be about a) the business needs b) the technology possibilities an capabilities and c) the user needs.

The three should be in balance. And then, from a technology point of view, a good platform like Flex enables technology do use better standards, develop quicker and have more capabilities within a project's budget. And if the technology is better capable of doing that, the business needs as well as the user (experience) needs are better met.

  LS-SAM [08.01.07 03:17 AM]

Adner, i highly doubt they would do such a thing - it would be a very bad move bussiness wise.

  Mal [08.01.07 07:14 PM]

Is it not just plain common sense to put the user first? Not to mention common business sense.

  Tim Loahn [08.03.07 11:45 AM]

lets look forward to Apollo..

after acquiring macromedia inc, adobe has gained some good stand in other areas as well it seems so.

Adobe's CS was one such tactic, which i think in its own right was successful to some extent.Lets see what they have in changing ux's.

  Dayjober [08.03.07 01:22 PM]

I think Adobe are on their way to make an impact in the web applications world. Their tools, mainly Apollo, have already created a buzz in the applications community. Maybe Apollo is going to be a revolutionary change in the web application area with all the flexibility it offers to the developers, that are very eager to create new applications.

  Chris Wong [08.16.07 07:20 AM]

A couple of years ago I embedded Gecko to create something in the AIR/WebRunner space. It’s working fine and provides a platform for which we can quickly and easily create content. Developing this platform, however, was not an exercise in Rapid Application Development.

For a good percentage of projects, it’s just not practical to invest that kind of effort. That’s why I’m glad to see things like WebRunner being developed. And not a second too soon: the Adobe stuff and similar efforts have the potential to eclipse Gecko which would be a shame since Gecko has so much to offer.

  Daniel [09.27.07 01:52 PM]

I think the main interest to Apollo will be from developers who made CD-intro and different gadgets for desktops. I don’t think it will be used in resource-intensive applications. But we will see.

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