July 21, 2015
A Fast Horse team was in a session a few weeks ago, and a client caught me off guard with a very direct question: “What’s your favorite website?”
Well, geez, that’s a bit personal, don’t you think? I mean, I’d have to check my favorites — taking into account frequency, application, impact, artistry, etc. I certainly understand why someone would ask me this question. As a web developer, I should be a resident expert on “websites” and therefore have an expert opinion … in theory.
This is just like a customer asking a server what their favorite dish on the menu is, or asking a car dealer what they drive. You can eliminate most of the bad options by posing these questions while simultaneously getting a read on someone’s taste. And that is the key right there: Taste can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t. Surrounding yourself with people who have similar taste can lead to amazing collaboration. Trust is built, ideas move freely, good things happen.
The way the Internet differs from a restaurant menu or car industry is that it’s not a curated buffet of offerings. The Internet is truly a pile of garbage, and the application of taste and expertise is more about knowing which corners of the Internet to lurk in and what to avoid. That being said, my response to the original question was to make a dumb face and go “well, Google, I suppose.” Then I immediately backtracked and asking for more qualifiers: “Are you asking for my favorite publication? Social network? Industry site?”
The real answer is that it changes every day. Here are some of my favorite websites this week:
http://moviespin.net/ – Simply add your five favorite movies, and receive suggestions. The swipe left/right functionality, reminiscent of Tinder, is the icing on the cake here.
https://historyoficons.com/ – This is a cool run-down of where UI icons came from. If you’re interested in design and interaction, learn about it in a beautiful way here.
https://www.croptrust.org/2014/key-figures – This is a beautiful bleeding-edge-technology web experience. When you have a very specific agenda and it’s not inherently interesting, then your best bet is to add as many bells and whistles and possible. That being said, the user experience is still intuitive and fun, yet educational.
http://ommexperience.com/ – Sometimes developers just experiment. This is an artistic endeavor and it’s super weird and fun to play around with. It’s the exact opposite of the prior example because there is no objective beyond encouraging interaction
http://checkusernames.com/ – Looking for a unique username? Just check here.
https://ifttt.com/ – Do you need to aggregate all the pins about wood palettes into a to-do reminder? Use IFTTT.
http://www.straightouttasomewhere.com/ – And for when you simply want to follow trends!
That’s all I have for now. I hope you enjoyed this list and I’ll be sure to keep track of cool tools and interactive experiences to share again another time.