A few lessons from this program
A widget is anything that can be taken off of a web site and run somewhere else.
There are 3 kids of widgets:
- Self-expression widgets – enable people to show off who they are and what they’re passionate about. A good example is a flickr widget that lets people post their pictures.
- Ecommerce widgets – allow people to sell things from their sites. Amazon has a good example of that.
- Enhancement widgets – add functionality to a web site. Guestbook widgets are a popular example.
5 things we need to know about creating widgets:
1) You have to understand your customer – Southwest was able to get people to download and install Ding! a widget that does nothing but sell tickets because they knew their customers will go out of their way to find good deals.
2) Focus on just one thing – Think about how the YouTube video widget only lets you view video. You can’t upload videos. You can’t comment on videos. You can only do one thing. It’s tempting to add more features, but widgets need to be kept simple so users can figure them out instantly.
4) Everything will be widgetized – No matter what you’re working on, Alex says you can find a way to let others take it off your domain and put it anywhere they want. In the future, everything will be widgetized
5) Go cross-platform – Don’t limit your distribution. You should think about ways to let people interact with your product on other web sites, on different computer platforms (Mac/Windows/anything), on mobile phones, and anywhere else.