Category Archives: plaxo

Plaxo revisited

So I got some helpful feedback on my last post from John McCrea who is VP of Marketing for Plaxo. So I logged back into Plaxo and had a little hunt around and after about 5-10 minutes found my addresses.

My initial reaction was Doh! what an idiot I was, but then after a few minutes reflection I started to think about user interface design and intuitive learning. When I showcase new functionality to my users, they will often give feedback about how easy a feature is to use or find. Often as developers or familiar users of a system we don’t see that something might not be named or located in the most natural place.

So I though I might also give some feedback to Plaxo that might help improve the user interface.

This is where the confusion started for me:

Plaxo options

Option 1 leads you to the old Plaxo address book system

Option 2 leads you to an import wizard to get your address book from Outlook, GMail etc

Option 3 doesn’t contain any of your old address book “connections”

So these are my thoughts:

  • Links with nearly the same names but going to total different actions is confusing
  • Option 3: The domain language seems confused, surely the people I have already shared my address book with are already “connected” in someway. Maybe that connection only allows address book features and not all the new features.
  • Option 2 doesn’t seem to support importing from option 1 (You wouldn’t need this option if they were already connected)
  • Option 1 feels like a skinned version of old app and not really integrated into the whole experience

Early morning rant…

I’ve been an occasional user of Plaxo (just the address book) for the last 3 years, using it to keep a few important addresses up to date. Anyway today was the first time I had used it since they launched Pulse, and guess what all my contacts have gone!

Now that’s not very clever for a social networking site and reminds me what Duncan Cragg would say about Web 2.0 and making sure all you data is public, readable in some open format and ideally distributed over the interweb. If fact this really goes back to why “data bases” were created in the first place: data lives longer than applications: well not in Plaxo’s case.