Synesthesia

Notes on stuff

Tagged Posts: usability

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05-08-2010

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The tools I use fall into two camps…

…browser-based and thick-client.

I’ve been coming back to the use of a wiki in the work environment, again with project teams, for rapid development of specifications and management of action lists.

Two things that struck me, after spending a large chunk of the working day creating and editing stuff in a group of browser tabs. Firstly, that this is a really good way of developing a set of inter-related ideas; secondly, how it made periodic checking of my Bloglines feeds list and various email accounts less disruptive: it’s far easier and faster to Ctrl-PageDown to the next Firefox tab than it is to switch context between browser, email client and word processor. (And as you will note, implicit in that statement there is also my view that tabbed browsing is vastly more efficient than the non-tabbed variety.)

I think there may be a clue here about what needs to be done to increase the use of blogs and wikis in a corporate setting – if you look at the user patterns within browser-based tools and the more traditional thick-client set of email-wordprocesssor-spreadsheet it is much easier to switch and share within each sub-system than between them.

It’s an idea I’ve touched on before; the question remains will we see an end-to-end solution from Microsoft? Or will the independent tool vendors and the Open Source community be able to come up with something first?

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