This blog will look at the concept “Rich User Experiences“, the fourth or eight patterns as defined by Tim O’Reilly. From all the previous blogs ”
Harnessing collective intelligence” , “Data is the Intel Inside” and “Innovation in Assembly” we can see that the world of Web 2.0 is evolving at a rapid rate. Long gone are those websites that were static and not user friendly. It is important that websites/applications developed satisfy the user and makes navigation/find information easy or else users would not return to that website.
Fortunately, with all the methods of enriching websites and web applications there are plenty of websites that offer users such a rich user experience like never before. The website/application i will analyze today in relation to “Rich User Experience is Youtube. Youtube is one of the most popular websites out there, i can safely say that everyone reading this blog would have used YouTube a some stage in their lives. However, Youtube has undergone various changes since becoming a huge phenomenon.
Youtube allows users to upload videos and stream videos, it uses uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of videos.
Here are some benefits/ features provides Youtube with rich user experience:
1. Youtube automatically suggests video names based the letter a user has typed, the suggestion changes as more letter is typed in. For example if you type “G” drop down suggestion will give you suggestions such as Gangnam style, Google etc . This is such a great way of not only finding the content you want but it also draws users to other content based on youtube’s suggestions.
2. Youtube now can be linked to ones gmail, some may hate this but i find it convenient, by linking it to your gmail your search history in youtube will be saved and suggestions will be made based on your searches.
3. You can also share a particular video you like to other social media networks, very handy and efficient way. (This pleases many users a lot, since they can then share what they want to their social media account from YouTube).
Right, lets look at some best practices that Youtube has adopted from a rich user experience perspective.
(1) Combine the best of desktop & online experiences –
The youtube navigation is simple and easy as most should know, what has changed in the last few years is the YouTube application that is now available on almost all mobile devices/smartphones. Whether on the desktop or mobile device the rich interactivity, high user engagement, fast performance allows Youtube to be a ubiquitous application that provides rich user experience.
(2) Usability and simplicity first
YouTube’s application is simple and easy to use providing all its users a simple yet rich user experience. I believe YouTube holds a big portion users using their services is not only because of the services they offer, but also because of the simplicity and usability YouTube offers. Thus, retaining their users. If you haven’t check YouTube out you seriously need to ask yourself what have you been doing! Go to YouTube now!
(3) Match the technology usage to the requirements
Youtube can be used on any devices that has a web browser (IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari) or in the age we live in now with smartphones the youtube app allow users to use the YouTube technology. Currently, YouTube uses HTML5 and Flash to display its contents however this could well change in the future with a push towards HTML5.
(4) Search over structure
Searching YouTube contents doesn’t only come from the YouTube website itself, even google searches can also bring up Youtube pages.
(5) Deep, adaptive personalization
As mentioned early, YouTube brings in personlization to its users, based on their search history recommendations will be made to the user. This adaptive personlization offers rich user experience because it will show content that the user is interested in or similar videos. YouTube user’s experience dynamically learns from the users behavior, anticipates needs, remembers preferences, and adapts as appropriate. Which saves time!
Watson, J. 2010 – INB(N)347 Week 5- Lecture slides