Archive for the ‘UI & Usability’ Category

iPad: the best way to experience the web (deaf, partially blind, on your own)

January 28th, 2010

The iPad is a device that has no USB ports, no Flash support, no front cam and no multitasking. Let's see what this means.

You won't be able to add additional storage. In a its cheapest form, it has 16GB of storage. That cannot be expanded. Think how many pictures and music you currently have on your netbook or laptop.

It won't play music on the web. Last.FM, Facebook, YouTube, Hyves, MySpace and a myriad of other websites use Flash to let you listen to music. "The best way to experience the web" is as a deaf person.

You won't be able to connect to network or USB printers. This rules out the iPad as a business tool. Unless you absolutely never have to print anything out.

You won't be able to connect to external storage devices. You won't be able to connect to your Network Storage or other laptops - Windows, Mac or Linux.

It has no camera, so there won't be any videochat. Almost all current netbooks and laptops have a built-in webcam. And you won't be able to add an external webcam because, you guessed it, no USB support. There's also no mention of a microphone so even skyping won't work. Oh, and there's no USB support so no USB microphones either.

It won't play video on the web. Sure, it will have its built-in YouTube app, but since it doesn't have multitasking, that means you will have to stop browsing and watch the movie. When the movie is finished, you'll have to start the browser again. Manually. That's acceptable for a Smartphone, but not for a tablet. And you certainly won't be able to watch MySpace video. Or Vimeo. Or Blip.TV. All of which are very good and valid video sites with extremely good content.

There's no easy way to type text on the tablet. And you can't add a USB keyboard. Because it has no USB. So don't expect to type long mails to your mother - which you could just Skype if you had a webcam. Or even a built-in microphone.

For those of you who think the absence of Flash is good because "you browse with Flash turned off anyway". That is not entirely true for most. Most run with a Flash blocker which allows them to turn Flash ON every once in a while to experience additional content on a website. But you don't even have that choice. There is no Flash. And I highly doubt that it will have HTML5 video support.

So there. No iPad for me. I'll stick to my Acer Netbook for couch surfing.

Posted in Flash, iPhone, Selfish, UI & Usability | Comments (0)

Chrome: a silver lining for developers

September 22nd, 2008

The contest for best post-title is over. I just won it. Now, on to reality.

Did we need another browser? What's up with Google supporting Firefox and then coming out with their own Open Source browser?

I took Google Chrome for a spin as a developer and found out some interesting things. Sure, Google Chrome has no developer toolbar at this moment, but who needs a developer toolbar with all the built-in goodies from Safari? (Thanks Lagaffe). Check out what Google Chrome has to offer for developers.

Until now, people had to rely on Firefox and Firebug to debug their web pages. IE has had a developer toolbar since not too long ago but, face it, nobody develops for IE anymore. We all build things according to standards and then check IE to see where they didn't apply the standards. Right? Well, not entirely. A lot of people still depend on IE as their sole window on the web. This article does not apply to them.

Google chrome may well be the best thing ever to happen in the last year for web developers. Loaded with Apple's Webkit, it has what is probably today's best rendering engine. Webkit/Safari is the only browser that's getting a 100% test result on ACID3. Granted, it's on a developer build and Chrome isn't currently profiting from that build and is stuck at 79% which is slightly better than Safari's current stable release test result.

But how does one take advantage of all the features Chrome has to offer?

Read on to find out

Posted in HTML, Selfish, UI & Usability | Comments (10)

Three days of iPhone: The Good and the Bad

August 7th, 2008

After waiting anxiously for a couple of weeks, I got my iPhone. I could go on for hours raving about the iPhone. Its slim and sleek design and the unique interface. The fact that I got this "at a bargain" because I've been with T-mobile ever since it wasn't T-mobile but still named Ben. This is the greatest technological item currently in my position.

I like the way it feels and like most of how it handles - and how it worked right out of the bo ... Hold on, it didn't work right out of the box! read on

Posted in iPhone, Selfish, UI & Usability | Comments (0)

Passwords

June 27th, 2008

Aral Balkan wrote this little rant on del.icio.us's "forgot password" procedure.

I always use strong passwords. A mix of symbols, numbers and letters ensure the safety of my account. I even have a human algorythm to create different passwords for each website. Unfortunately, for the algorythm to work, the password always requires symbols, numbers and letters.

Cue website that enforce password constraints. I don't know why websites insist on enforcing rules on passwords. If your user wants an easy password, then it's up to him. You can always tell him how low-security passwords pose a threat to his privacy, but in the end he will not care. If you enforce constraints, he will probably only write down the password on a sticky piece of paper and stick it to his office monitor.

Even worse is the scenario that I encounter quite frequently as of lately. Upon registration, I enter my password which, for didactical purposes, is doogietitia+0, and I get an error message which says the following.

Your password must contain at least 1 number or symbol

As it pops up in more than 1 website, I'm sure that somewhere there's a free password checker that everyone is using and haven't checked properly. Websites that I remember to have this problem:

  • ben.nl, a T-Mobile brand
  • iscards.nl, a VISA card issuer

ISCards support was extremely frustrating. "Yes sir, we have had a few more complaints about this, but we can't do anything about it. We have reported it but it's not likely that it will be fixed soon". For F's sake, you're a financial institution and you have my credit card statements available online!

Posted in Selfish, UI & Usability | Comments (0)

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