MySpace Mondays: How To Improve Your MySpace Application
I’m taking a break from reviewing them this week because I want to offer a few tips that hopefully someone will take note of. Most of the MySpace applications aren’t very good from an usability standpoint, and it’s usually the little things they are missing that separate a good application from a great application. Additionally, the MySpace platform is still a moving target, but the end user doesn’t have to see that.
Don’t be that Johnny Bedroom hack developer that we considered when building the MySpace developer site; think of solutions that would make your application better. This stuff isn’t rocket science — even blondes can offer great tips!
Here are a few tips that might improve the user experience.
Show a loading message when the application is loading
We’re talking three lines of code.
Please, don’t you want a better experience for your users for three lines of code?
Test your application
As I have posted previously, nothing frustrates an end user more than an application that doesn’t appear to work, because they think it’s their fault. Test, test, and test again. This is especially true with some of the Flash applications on the platform — most of them have some kind of issue that makes them break.
Consider all the edge cases and build error messages around them
Make the application look good
Most of the applications I’ve seen so far look like the Omaha, Nebraska Greyhound Terminal (don’t ask, I’ve never been there). Hire a designer to work with you, and make the application look better — that will encourage usage, and give legitimacy to the application as a quality product.
There are other ways to encourage the viral spread of the application without sending out bulletins
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