Today I am trying out WordPress’ new fullscreen mode. As a UX designer, I am always on the lookout for what the smoothest, and simplest experiences are available in today’s online applications.
There have been a few delays in me upgrading to the latest version of WP – mainly because of my hosting provider’s legacy version of MySQL. WP3.2.1 requires MySQL 5 or higher, and until recently I was running on v.4. There were instructions in the knowledge base on how to upgrade manually, but it seemed like a lot of work for something that I was sure they would need to tackle eventually. I was right.
At first galnce, it is really cool. Kinda like Ai’s writer all wrapped up in the browser. I never really thought about how much the extra buttons around you actually serve to distract you from really getting down to writing. Recently I have been feeling rather ADD when tackling many tasks, especially getting down to writing, but this clean environment really does focus your attention purely on getting your thoughts down.
I also recently upgraded to OSX Lion, and it seems to be a pervasive feature amongst todays leading software manufacturers (I’m very broadly sweeping Apple and WP under the same brush here – I’m sure there are others too) to cut back heavily on unused functionality, whilst focussing on the core user tasks. This is a good thing, and has been trumpeted over and over by UX evangelists for years now.
There are a whole slue of new and fascinating devices and interfaces entering the market at a rapid rate. Just yesterday Amazon announced their Fire tablet, with it’s own browser built on the back of Google’s Android OS. Facebook also recently announced that they will be rolling out a few major changes to their service – the biggest of these being the replacement of current profile pages to the new Timeline interface – which is going live tomorrow. Finally there is also the highly anticipated announcement of the new Apple iPhone expected next week – 3 October. It’s a crazy few weeks in Internet Land.
As we enter a space where the major internet players are increasingly competing for users’ attention (admittedly they’ve been at this for quite some time – but we’re feeling it now more than ever) the way in which we experience these products – be it a hardware device or application interface – is increasingly going to effect our immediate impressions towards that product. Being able to strip away the bloated “additional” features, and get straight to the core of what makes an application useful to the user, is what will keep us coming back for more.
I enjoyed writing this post, because nothing distracted me (except my wife arriving home halfway through writing it).