UX Blog: UX Marks the Spot

This blog is temporarily going out of hiatus to share a friendly reminder to the loyal subscribers and readers of Standard Web Standards.

I’ve created a blog called UX Marks the Spot (http://ux.raquedan.com) and it’s a spin-off from Standard Web Standards. All the usability, user experience, information architecture, interaction design, and book reviews posts in this blog has been moved over there. Moreover, my future posts on the aforementioned topics will be placed there.

Why the new blog? I decided to de-couple the UX side of the posts since this blog will be revived once the web standards scene gets a lot interesting again. πŸ˜›

I really find it easy to write and blog about things I’m currently in to, and since I’ve been doing tons of UX work as of late, I decided to spin the blog off and maintain Standard Web Standards’ “in hiatus” status.

I invite you to check the blog out and hopefully you will subscribe to the RSS feed.  πŸ™‚


Standard Web Standards will be on an indefinite hiatus starting today. I’ve mentioned in another blog of mine that I plan to focus on new and different things this 2010 and writing actively in this blog is one of the things I plan to do less of.

I believe that the Web Standards war has been won already. The war I’m referring to is the adoption of proper technologies on the presentation and markup of web pages. I’m convinced that web professionals today see proper XHTML & HTML is a must and designing websites with CSS is now the norm. A few years back, it was a huge plus to design along those lines; now it’s the way things are. While this blog ventured into User Experience, Usability, and Internet Matketing themes more, the lessening content about web standards is perhaps an indicator that the Web Standards war is all but over.

With an admission that the Web Standards war of the last decade is finished, I believe that this blog has accomplished its major mission– I’d like to believe that this blog has been made a little dent in changing web designers’ minds about web standards.

What’s next for me? I plan consolidating my blogging activity this year. My areas of focus are Screensucked (my movie reviews blog) and Big Lakers Fan. If you notice, I’m putting my attention on lighter topics and entertainment, which I find extremely easy to write for. My writing about the web will now be moved to  BloggingPro (which covers blogging topics) for the time being.

My other area of focus will be my community and evangelism work. Since I’m the Mozilla Philippines Community Leader, expect more updates on that site, especially about Mozilla’s work on open web standards. If you ask me, most of the web standards stuff will be appearing there. I also started to be the Twitter person of the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO). πŸ™‚

On the usability and user experience front, I’m doing a lot if it right now that writing about it may be fatiguing. I may come up with a site on this exclusively in the future. πŸ™‚

I owe a lot to this blog that I can’t find it in me to shut it down completely. Who knows? When the next web standards crisis arises, this blog will make a comeback. πŸ˜€

Friendster Revamps: Now What?

Friendster just launched a new look and feel that makes it look more like a site that belongs to the new decade. But is it enough?

Friendster’s steady decline decline and getting leapfrogged by competitors MySpace and Facebook are well-documented and this latest move can be seen as a way to increase its value since there are talks that Friendster is about to be acquired by an Asian firm.

Now, what about the redesign?

The new design sports a 3-column template, changed from a 2-column design. From my perspective, this decision was sparked by better advertisement placement. The new design is able to place a large rectangle ad in a more prominent position in the right-side column. This change seems to be a nod to Facebook’s 3-column layout.

Another thing worth noting is the addition of the “Activity Stream,” or the list of updates presented in reverse chronological order. This feature is quite common in major social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) but it feels more like the one in Multiply.

Visiting the other sections of the site, there’s little departure from the original design as the photos, friends, and profile areas looks very much alike the old design. The addition  of an expanded games section may be hint to where Friendster is going.

As the grand-daddy of social networking sites, Friendster is trying to play catch up with Facebook in terms of the look & feel and features. But given Friendster’s prominence is South East Asia, it remains to be seen how the folks from the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia would react to the redesign.

Google Places Vote of Confidence on HTML5

Chalk one up for Web Standards.

Google has decided to retire Google Gears and is moving forward with HTML5. This isn’t really exciting news for the everyday web user but for the standardistas out there (*chirp* *chirp*), this is exciting news. Heck, HTML5 is still not even done a formal specification! With this development Gears has almost fulfilled its intended use– to be the stop gap to Google’s needs for offline storage and a few other API’s before HTML5 could deliver.

With Google Chrome and perhaps the Google Chrome OS, Google may be priming HTML5 into the forefront sooner than expected. (Some folks estimate HTML5 will hit critical mass at around 2015).

So why is HTML5 getting this much traction this early? Well, if you ask me, it’s because the users’ expectations of the web is increasing by the day and the development of the spec is lagging far behind. This need has given the browser makers the impetus to go ahead and implement bits and pieces of HTML5. Now, Google is banking on the available components of HTML5 will be able to deliver their intended web experience.

HTML5 may be far from finished, but Google thinks it’s already good enough.

Five Years of Firefox in Manila Done!

The Five Years of Firefox in Manila event was held yesterday and it was  a great launchpad for the Mozilla Philippines Community.

I, along with Community coordinators Ren-Ren Gabas, Allan Caeg, and Mozilla Campus Reps from Colegio San Juan de Letran Calamba led by Joell Lapitan, came at 12 noon to make the necessary preparations at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City. Since the event was scheduled at 3:15, we had enough time to iron out the logistics and event flow. Also, we had great support from the AIM folks in the event management.

People started trickling in at 2:15 and the heart snacks were served. In line with the Philippine community theme, we had Filipino delicacies for the food. (Yum!) We started a but late at 3:30 with around 70 people in attendance.

The program proper was kicked off by Allan Caeg, who had a short welcome message and showed the “Light the World with Firefox” video:

Ren-Ren Gabas then had a short talk about the Mozilla Campus Reps initiative and I then followed up with the Five Years of Firefox in Manila talk and introduced the official Mozilla Philippines Community website and invited the people join.

Globe Telecom also showcased the Web2Mobile add-one where Globe subscribers can send SMS and MMS via the Firefox, with a very intuitive interface. This demo drew a lot of “ooooh”‘s from the audience. On a side note, the app will be launched soon and this was a project by a couple of Computer Science students from the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

Then came the most awaited portion: the raffle. I think most of the Firefox fans who came to the event really wanted the special edition Firefox shirts we gave away, but we could only give out five shirts. πŸ™ Maybe we can have more in the future. πŸ˜‰ But nonetheless, no one went home empty handed as we gave everyone little Firefox goodies.

If you ask me, the event was able to introduce the Mozilla Philippines Community in a nice way and it was able to make people look forward to the next set of events. πŸ˜€

A huge thanks to everyone who came and those who helped, I hope you will be a part of the Mozilla Philippines Community moving forward. πŸ˜€

Here are some photos of the event, courtesy of Aja Lapus and Joell Lapitan:

One final thing: props to my fellow bloggers/Firefox fans who were there:

5 Reasons to Attend Five Years of Firefox in Manila!

Five Years of Firefox in Manila

The Mozilla Philippines Community, Globe Telecom, and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) will be hosting the Five Years of Firefox in Manila! event this coming November 21, 2009 (3pm-5pm) at the Fuller Hall of AIM in Makati City.

This event is a get-together of Mozilla Firefox and Web Standards fans in the Philippines and here are five very good reasons to attend the event:

  1. You’ll get to meet other fans of Mozilla Firefox– around 120 folks have already RSVP’d.
  2. It will feature the highlights of Firefox in the last five years,  introduction of the Mozilla Philippines Community, plus what the future holds for Mozilla Firefox.
  3. It will also showcase Globe Labs‘ new Firefox app (yes, people in the Philippines are making apps for Firefox :P)
  4. There will be nice little Firefox goodies for everyone, plus special items for raffle. πŸ™‚
  5. It’s a free event! πŸ˜€

If you’re interested in attending, just RSVP at the event’s Facebook page. See you there!

World Usability Day 2009 in Manila

We had an event for the fifth World Usability Day event here in Manila yesterday, along with 123 other locations all over the world. Entitled “Design/Sustain,” the Adobe User Group – Philippines (AUGPhil) and the UST Information Systems Society (UST ISYS)  hosted the event with a focus on the theme “Designing for a Sustainable World.”

We had a great roster of speakers and topics. Dr. Rosemary Seva of the De La Salle University talked about “Usability and Sustainability”, Rey Mendoza of AUGPhil talked about “Affordable Usability Tools” , and Illac Diaz of My Shelter Foundation shared their projects in sustainable architecture.

Apart from students, the event attracted members of the Philippine usability community and there was talk of developing the community and establishing a Philippine chapter of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA).

Hopefully by next year, the World Usability Day event will be co-presented by our own local UPA chapter. πŸ™‚

Here are some pics: