christonium social website

Christonium's command center like interface

Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:28 pm
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There are many structural differences in this program that were possible because we built it all ourselves. Most other places out there utilize someone else's code, or template of some sort, just look at all the myspace clones out there - identical! Since we built completely from scratch and didn't utilize any existing template or platform, it gave us a lot of freedom to structure it exactly how we wanted. We were especially excited to re-think this one point in particular, because it's something we usually find very confusing and annoying at other interactive websites: the structure of the interface for viewing as well as administrating your account.

Commonly, if you log in to another website you might have links guiding you to the various parts of your account (My Friends, My Mail, My photos.) You cannot view and manage these different parts on one screen, instead you go to the specific part you wish to see. The same principle is used when you wish to edit your account, put up new information, design it etc... You then click "Manage Account" or something similar and it usually takes you to a completely different interface from where you just were. You don't see your account anymore, instead you see this website's administrative design. I always find it confusing; one moment you're looking at the outside view of your page, and the next thing you know, you don't even recognize yourself: Where am I now? Where did my text go and my nice design? Oh, they are on the viewing side, I'm on the administrative side. No, no that doesn't seem reasonable, you should be able to manage your account, write posts, put up photos or whatever you do, inside the same structure that you see when you visit your area.

So, we designed an interface that allows complete overview of an account and its various parts simultaneously. As you log in to your account you are presented with a command-center like interface that gives you access to your categories, items, mail and contacts on the same screen. The user's view is consistent and the administration of an account remains seamless: the design, the editing, the posting, etc... all is integrated into the same view of the account. There are not two different designs, not one for viewing and then one for administrating; they both exist within the same frame. This means you can browse for information, view new comments, further develop your content and access your mail at the same time without going to different screens and interfaces. We know this design might take a little time for some to get use to, as we haven't seen it anywhere else. However, we believe it gives a much better overview and is easier to use, then the traditional structure that other websites are built upon.

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