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The 7 Habits of a Successful Web 2.0 Application

Dion Hinchcliffe wrote a great article at Ajax Developers Journal, here’s my favorite excerpt:

The Essentials of Leveraging Web 2.0

  1. Ease of Use is the most important feature of any Web site, Web application, or program.
  2. Open up your data as much possible. There is no future in hoarding data, only controlling it.
  3. Aggressively add feedback loops to everything. Pull out the loops that donâ?’t seem to matter and emphasize the ones that give results.
  4. Continuous release cycles. The bigger the release, the more unwieldy it becomes (more dependencies, more planning, more disruption.) Organic growth is the most powerful, adaptive, and resilient.
  5. Make your users part of your software. They are your most valuable source of content, feedback, and passion. Start understanding social architecture. Give up non-essential control. Or your users will likely go elsewhere.
  6. Turn your applications into platforms. An application usually has a single predetermined use, a platform is design to be the foundation of something bigger. Instead of getting a single type of use from your software and data, you might be hundreds or thousands of them.
  7. Donâ?’t create social communities just to have them. They arenâ?’t a checklist item. But do empower inspired users to create them.

I would add one more item, or expand on ‘Ease of Use’. Within Ease of Use are 2 components:

  • Usability – the methodology that the user takes to performing tasks should be natural and not require excessive training.
  • Great design – I hate to admit this, but an exceptional design will help. If you have a free application, perhaps it’s not as important; but if you’re selling a service, then it’s an expectation to have nice graphics and page layouts.

Turn your application into platforms and continuous release cycles both lend themselves to ‘widget, plugin, or add-on’ technology. If there’s a means of building out a portion of your application that allows others to build into it, you’re going to leverage development well beyond the walls of your company.

I’m not sure I agree with ‘Open up your data’ but I do agree with leveraging your data. Open data in this day and age can be a privacy nightmare; however, leveraging data that your users supply is an expectation. If I you ask me how I like my coffee, I hope that the next time I get coffee, it’s the way that I like it! If it’s not, don’t ask me in the first place!

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