I saw some of the Six Apart team on Friday, Ben and Mena Trott and Andrew Anker, post launch of their new, user-friendly blogging service, Vox. While an estimated 57 million blogs have been fired up, with a large portion now in hibernation or abandoned, blogging tools have been too obtuse and cranky for mere mortals, especially those who are over 30 and haven't drunk the digital lifestyle kool-aid.
Vox is more user friendly than Six Apart's TypePad and Movable Type or WordPress (which is used for ZDNet blogs), and brings some much needed direct manipulation of objects on a page and easy integration with external sources, such as Flickr and Amazon. At some point, it will be difficult to draw the line between blogging and wiki tools as they evolve and general productivity software.
I asked the Six Apart team about developing a wiki application, but they insisted that they will work with wiki vendors and have enough to do with advancing their enterprise and consumer blogging platforms.
Google is contributing to computer ease of use for mankind beyond its pioneering simple and fast search interface. Google Reader has the right model, at least to me, for dealing with the human processing of RSS feeds and other data buckets. Click on a headline in the Google Reader list interface and the contents of the feed expand in place. This AJAXy technique should be applied to Gmail as well.
I mentioned applying the Google Reader user interface trick to GMail to Marissa Mayer, Google vice president of Search Products & User Experience, and she said that the team is thinking about the feature, among other things. It seems like a no brainer, as well as doing a better job of integrating GMail, Google Reader and GTalk as part of a communications suite.
What other enlightened user interface/experience examples are worth highlighting? Send them to me...