A big part of Saturday’s conversation with Tony Parisi concerned the Plexus front end: what does it look like, how does it work, how does it talk to Plexus? Most of this has intentionally been left up to the designer/developer/implementer because there is no one right way to design a Plexus front end. If Plexus is plumbing, who knows if you might need a toilet or a sink or a bathtub connected to it? Better to leave that wide open and let others come up with wonderful, beautiful, fluid UX and UI.
That said, there are some obvious ways to display the ‘connected data stream’ which is presented at the Plexus API for the front end. The two most obvious are:
- Temporally – everything comes in, all together, in a great, big, time-stamped stream. This is the ‘feed’ approach, and it works reasonably well for Facebook and Twitter.
- Personally – the stream is sorted by user (or a group or groups of users). This is probably the right way to make things work if you’re doing something groupware-ish, like a rich media Yammer.
These UX modalities are not mutually exclusive; each will likely borrow from the other. But they are different enough that each one could be developed as its own front end.
The front end also has to deal with maintenance of the social graph – which is fodder for another post.
Thoughts? And should we be using the terms ‘server’ and ‘client’? Is that more accurate?