Personalized news with Thoof

Note: This is a sponsored post.

Thoof is a user-generated news and information service web site. Basically, the site shows Personalized News submitted by visitors. Kind of like Boing Boing, but Thoof has a way better Web 2.0 interface.

As a web designer, I can’t help but notice the interface first before anything else. Because for me, good design isn’t just about fancy graphics and color combinations—it’s also about how usable a site is. I don’t find Boing Boing’s layout very attractive—they should have spent a bit more time on paying attention to how important proper spacing is, it’s just so hard to read—and I think this is where Thoof is at an advantage.

The site has made a good use of colors, a refreshing combination of green and orange shades. However, the yellow mouse-over effect of the header navigation bar could use a bit of work. A lighter shade of yellow perhaps?

In terms of being user-friendly, I found it quite easy to use the “Send to a friend” link. I’m the type of viewer who doesn’t like loading new pages so much—I think it wastes my time—so I guess that’s why I really like the way they presented this feature. You just click on the link and a javascript-enabled overlay popup appears—not like the annoying adverts popups mind you, but one that’s similar to a Lightbox popup. I just wish they did the same for the Edit feature too.

Thoof also allows you to hide posts that you don’t like. Again, another one with a javascript effect.

Another thing I really like about this site is the fact that the community is encouraged to suggest improvements (this is done through their “Edit” feature). Maybe I’m biased, being a blogger myself, but I honestly think that for a site to be truly interactive, there should be reader participation.

To be honest, I basically see Thoof as improvement to Boing Boing. It’s similar, but this one’s more interactive. And that, I think, is what Thoof should capitalize on: its strengths. Boing Boing’s been around for quite some time, but if Thoof continues to capitalize its strengths and continuously improve its features with users in mind, I think this new personalized news site’s future would be promising.

Kaban: The answer to the Philippines’ shopping cart issues?

Me neglecting this blog is an understatement. My most “recent” post was last February. Cripe. Well, my husband is now officially resigned from his day job—somebody would be around to nag me to keep this blog up-to-date. Besides, our company website is now sporting its new design—which means, I’ll have more time to blog here and actually release the themes I’ve been meaning to finish.

So anyway, I was invited last Wednesday with a few other bloggers at the Yehey! Office in Mandaluyong for a dinner and a sponsored podcast. It was basically to discuss their new service called, Kaban. Too bad the recording got corrupted—it had been quite a good discussion.

I was actually very interested on what Jonas and Eugene of Kaban had to say, to be honest. Why? Well, for one thing, Paypal isn’t fully functional in the Philippines. A payment gateway specific for Philippine use would be a great alternative. Besides, Marc and I have been looking for other payment gateway options that we can recommend to our clients who want shopping carts. Continue reading “Kaban: The answer to the Philippines’ shopping cart issues?”