As the Web grows, it’s becoming more personalized, tailoring function and design with user experience in mind. Here are three categories of websites that keep me coming back:
This year picture-based sites like Flickr and Tumblr have been enormously popular. Flicker allows users to share their pictures and browse millions of others in locations around the world. I like Flickr because it has a simple format, an easy flow, and contains an enormous vault of photos to explore. Parallel to the public’s desire to post their life online, blogging has risen in popularity. Personally, I like WordPress. WordPress allows users to personalize their blog and create a layout design that suits their personal style and story. It’s also really simple to use. The award for personalization, however, goes to StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon has become a recent favorite of mine because it uses personalization to create a phenomenal user experience. With the user’s selection of interests, it generates engaging stories and photos.
Online TV is becoming huge. In a choice between homework and watching TV, I chose to “multi-task”… which ultimately turns into just watching TV. The site I consistently choose is Hulu. Hulu is attempting to make their user experience more personalized by allowing viewer’s to pick the ad that they want to watch. It’s a small choice for the user, but it represents an enormous change in the way websites are reaching out to their viewers.
The third group of sites I like to use are for school. Websites like Sparknotes and FreeTranslation have made some school assignments immensely easier. These websites are ideal for both the overachiever who wants to check their work and anyone else who needs quick answers. It’s becoming difficult for students to make the choice between reading the 500 page book and reading the 5 page summary on Sparknotes. The popularity of these websites will continue to grow as the age group of student users expands from the high school population and broadens to lower grade levels. The next move for these popular school-related sites will be to improve their layout and make the user experience more personalized.
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