StumbleUpon, another innovative Rich Internet Application (RIA) to emerge within web 2.0 which helps the internet community to ‘discover the best of web’. It mainly focuses on personalizing the web browsing experience by directing users to information based on their likes, interests and hobbies; hence providing a Rich User Experience. Such innovative experiences are developed through the smart integration of interactive Graphical User Interface and multimedia content. As a result, StumbleUpon reduces the data overload (data vomit), providing the user with content rich information and an enjoyable web surfing experience. The user experience is also enhanced with the addition of community based web surfing applications which utilize user reviews to display the subsequent stumble site/content. Ultimately, StumbleUpon integrates many of the valuable features of desktop and online user experiences.
So what is StumbleUpon? if you haven’t heard about it before watch this simple video.
StumbleUpon brand and the web application was recently redesigned to emphasize the importance of the user behaviour and experience. It’s CEO, Garett Camp announced that it is just as important to improve the Graphical User Interface with the advance web technologies behind the web application.
We realized we weren’t conveying the experience well enough through our visual appearance. The power of our technology is remarkable, but now we’re finally doing justice to that with a modern, slick front-end. Finally, our front-end is as good as our back-end. – Garett Camp, CEO, StumbleUpon
StumbeUpon website and the mobile apps are aimed at the users to be granular and elusive. Site’s content is more organized, navigational tools are more effective and more user friendly features are included in the new design aimed at increasing the level of user engagement. It’s recommendation algorithms were improved to provide an extensive personlization service, whereby specific user behavior and preferences are analysed before displaying StumbleUpon content. As a result, accessing rich content on StumbleUpon have become efficient, focusing on the ‘search’ function over ‘structure.
Furthermore, addressing the issues of desktop and online interactivity, StumbleUpon has replaced software-based browser toolbar with a widget frame, allowing the users the flexibility of not having to install a toolbar while using the application. Also having unified application features across all mobile apps and web interface, provides consistent functionality and convenience of usage. StumbleUpon has enabled such benefits through the effective use of smart web technologies such as AJAX, JQuery and HTML standards, creating more opportunities for a greater user experience.
As with any Rich Internet Application, there are drawbacks of using web as a platform where the applications are run on web browser windows and then communicated with the web/remote servers. Users are usually locked into one platform and applications are usually restricted by a web browser model except for mobile apps. Some RIA’s even require installations depending on the functionality which is often inconvenient and intrusive. Also a major drawback is that the lack of functionality and use when the computer is offline from the web restrict the users from accessing the application; hence providing a negative experience.
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