Thursday, June 30, 2005

Open Letter: major UI issue

I love I wish Joshua Schachter all the best, and as I understand it, "the best" means everyone using his wonderful creation.

Joshua, can you please, please fix one UI problem that is (I suspect) costing you thousands of users and hundreds of thousands of uses every day?

How life should work:

When I go to Google, and I want to find something, I find a box that has a blinking cursor in it, and a grey button titled "Google Search". Unless I am waaaaaay behind the curve, it dawns on me (me being the zero-sigma Internet user) that perhaps I should type what I want, and click "Google Search" or even (gasp!) press (Enter).

How works:

When I go to, what do I see?
1) A big list of tagged items that I may care nothing about
2) A list on the right side of "most popular" that I probably care at least slightly about
3) A few mysterious text links in the top-right: "bookmarks index post settings about"

How do I find something?

I dunno.

Oh, it turns out, I go up to the URL entry field on my *browser* and type /tag/something to get what I want. And if I want "interesting blog" then I tyle /tag/interesting+blog.

Gee, that was obvious!

What if I want to see someone's bookmarks? Again I go to the browser's URL entry field, and add /onohoku/ or /fred/ or whatever (there seems to be no fred or john on but of course there's an /ethan/...miller... we Ethans are early adopters!

Now this being Web 2.0, of course I could hack together my own bad-ass interface for del.icious and release it to the world. But that would not solve the core problem, which is that right now, some frustrated newbie is going to the main site, laden with glorious potential, and clicking away frustrated because he damn well can't figure out how to *get what he wants*.

Can we please, please, have a text entry box or two? Or even (gasp) a single line of text explanation of how to get what we want?

It will make the tagging universe grow *ever* so much faster...


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