Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Spotback: Personalized Portal

Category: Portal, Showcase

Spotback is a new portal that lets you get very personal with new interest Ajax features.

Once you hit the site you can start to rate stories via slider instead of typical star ratings (I personally feel like stars are more usable as you don’t need to drag you can just click). As you rate items highly, new content “like that” will appear for you.

Other nicely done features are:

  • Drop down categories
  • Simple links to other people who like the content
  • The “more…” link opens content up inline
  • Simple settings for turning on and off animation, tooltips, high grade bringing in the new story etc

Quite nice really!


Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:41 pm

3.6 rating from 34 votes


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Yawn… It’s even labelled “beta version”. It turned me off immediately when a yellow div appeared over the content, and could only be made to go away by clicking on a link – i just wanted to close the damn thing.

The sliders are stupid and are just another instance of ajax-candy over utility. I agree, the stars work – if it ain’t broke…

Do we need another portal? This site is just another instance of ajaxturbation. That’s not to say the site has no plus points – displaying content inline, etc is nice, and the overall layout is clean and easy; perhaps I’m being to harsh?

Comment by ajaxmeoff — July 13, 2006

There seems to be a general lack of symmetry in the user interface. If you rate a story positively, you get a new story, but if you rate a story negatively, you don’t get any stories removed. I understand the reasons why the developer would want to do it that way, but from a usability perspective it just doesn’t seem right. Also if you rate a story positively, and then change the rating to a different but still positive rating, you get yet another story, and can endlessly proliferate stories down the page.
And I agree with above, the yellow box makes me think that I’m not allowed to click anywhere else in the page, even though that’s exactly what I’m supposed to do.

Comment by evan — July 13, 2006

This seems to be like Digg, but more Ajaxy.

Comment by kourge — July 14, 2006


Spotback is a new AJAX-powered, which provides the reader with personalised stories, grabbed from news sources and blogs, based on their ratings of other stories!
The site allows you to remove categories from your view. So if you don’t wish to re…

Trackback by Webby's World — July 16, 2006

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