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Tuesday
Jul272010

Verbing: Users expect the ability to act, and developers must deliver.  

First off, apologies for verbizing a noun (there, I did it again). 

Has anyone noticed how more and more actions are becoming ubiquitous and expected?  It’s kind of lame if you visit a site or use an app these days and can’t “do” your favorite “verb” there. 

If I’m looking at recipes I expect to be able to save them, send them, share them, rate them, and comment on them.  If I’m reading news, I’d better be able to tweet the story, send feedback to the author, join a list, and “like” the story.

Even where these actions aren’t supported by the same underlying service (Liking is supported by Facebook’s APIs,  but plenty of sites and apps have their own like system which just uses the term),  they are supported by the user expectation, and therefore need to mimic the semantics of the “standard”.

These verbs have escaped the bonds of their original sites or apps, and transcended to ubiquitous featurehood.

So, I thought it might be useful to make a list of the verbs that seem to be on the rise, and see whether there are interesting new applications of those verbs in different contexts and with different objects.

For example, what would it mean to “check in” to a product?.  Check out http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/23/booyahs-mytown-unlocks-product-check-ins-video/http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/23/booyahs-mytown-unlocks-product-check-ins-video/

Stay tuned for a first list of verbs and contexts.

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