With Web 2.0 sites awash in video clips, widgets, rich media and avatars, which ones still provide a user-friendly experience? Rohit Bhargava, who writes the Influential Marketing Blog and heads the interactive marketing group at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Washington, D.C., recently assembled a Top 5 list of sites based on usability. They are:
37Signals: The company behind Web-based business services such as Basecamp, Highrise and Backpack, "they are probably the ultimate company to watch in terms of creating an amazing interface that makes it easy to work better."
Wufoo: "They make something that used to be extremely tough (creating forms for Web sites) into an easy drag-and-drop experience. Wufoo makes forms sexy, and adds good reporting on the backend."
Harvest: Offers an online system for creating timesheets. "No aspect of agency life is as universally hated [as timesheets], but the reason most people despise it is because of the systems companies have in place to track it. Harvest is an alternative that offers an easy-to-use interface to track time."
Picnik: "The site lets you edit your photos with easy fixes and save the edited versions. Offering a much simpler interface than Photoshop, the site has lots of little features (like a running tracker telling you the pixel dimensions of your edited image) that make it a pleasure to use for editing photos."
Flickr: "This is the only site that makes my list of great interfaces which you might call 'mainstream' with millions of photos, dedicated users and a growing community."