Why a “Read it Later”extension?

Posted on June 19, 2008


Belzner introduced us this website today: http://www.ideashower.com/ideas/launched/read-it-later/

Indeed.Organizing bookmarks is one of the worst things I’d like to do by myself – I do need a artificial intelligent existence to do this for me – it is a tedious, boring and disgusting user experience for our human beings.

For firefox 3, the awesome bar is an extrodinary feature reducing people’s laber and enhancing usibility and fun. However, people frequently claim they need to liberate themselves by having a more easier-to-use bookmarks system. As both designers and users, we are responsible to discover how, why and what people need for a perfect bookmarking system. A challenge is how to combine HISTORY, BOOKMARKS and Other things together based on TASK instead of by FEATURE.

I want to say something about why people need a “Read it Later” button. In most cases when people are trying to bookmark a page, they have several reasons: A. I like this website I’d bookmark it whatever. B. I’d like to read it later. C. This website contains something really important to me(a receipt, a printable page or a personal info).D. I’d like to share this website with my friends. E. This website contains a tool that I use quite often. F. Other reasons.

In the survey I did last week, people hate bookmark for some reasons: A. Too many bookmarks. B. Forget the reason initially bookmark it. C. Searching is much faster than bookmarks. D. Hate the feeling being forced to be organized.

If we compare the clothes shopping experience to bookmarking websites – we find there’re so many commen things. Before people go to check out, they need to put their liking clothes into the basket, they need to try it on in the fitting room, they need time to make choices, balance the budget they have and the price of the clothes – similarly, when people need to bookmark a website, they may also want to put they desired websites in to a temperary “CART”, read it later and organize it, balance the quantity of current bookmarks and the searching speed if they try to find a bookmark. Then they go for check out(Bookmark it in a desired way).

We didn’t give people oppotunities to select, organize and digest in the process of shopping bookmarks. People in the real world tend to bookmark every website whatever and whenever they need – they forget the reason why they bookmark it and feel very bad about themselves – interesitng people don’t quite blame the software monster-like developers but themselves.

Yes, adding a “CART” feature before people check out their bookmarks. It is a very smart decision. Maybe a “CART” is not even enough, people also need a trash can to find the stuff they throw away. But I’ll do more design research today to find what people really need by performing a task. I do believe, Task-oriented design process is a new way of solving real-world software design problems, especially for simple software like browsers, by summerising and reorganizing the task-flow people tend to do when visit a website, the browser will behave much more personalized and considerate, in another word, more user-friendly.

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