The first impression of Gimme Bar User Experience – Part 1

In short, Gimme Bar is a web application that allows you to save all of the cool things you see on the web. Gimme Bar has the ability to let you to save any type of medium (images, text and video) via a clean, elegant interface. It is a great app for social media users and designers (like me) to share the cool things that they discover. Specifically, Gimme Bar acts as a digital moodboard for inspiration for future projects.

I’ve been using Gimme Bar for the last week, and had to share my first impressions.

Is it really the 5th greatest Invention?

Gimme Bar claims that it is the 5th greatest invention, although the idea of sharing your finding via a web medium is nothing new. Fancy, for instance, is a website that I have been using for the past few months. It provides a way in which users can “make a catalog of [their] favorite things around the web and around the world”. Fancy has created a “Fancy It” link that user can add to the bookmark, and use it whenever they see something that they like. However, the functionality is very limited. In fact, it only allows images, and the images have to meet a size requirement in order to be added.

The ability to add any medium is where Gimme Bar shines. You can add images, videos, and texts by simply drag and drop it to the Gimme Bar box.

There is almost no limitation of what you cannot save, except Facebook or any sites that are protected by passwords. (BUT, Gimme Bar works well with Google+ because I have tried it) 

Another advantage is that you can sync your Gimme Bar content to your Dropbox account. You can transfer those save contents (except videos) to your computer.

So is it really the 5th greatest invention? I am not sure, but it is pretty damn close. Now let’s look at the interface.

Gimme some UI

Gimme Bar has two interfaces:

  1. Gimme Bar
  2. User’s Gimme Bar library

Gimme Bar is the primary interface that you collect content from the web. It spans across the entire width of the browser and locates at the bottom. The interface is simple with highly visible labels to indicate where your saved content will be stored.

By placing the Gimme Bar at the bottom, it creates an affordance for the user to drag the content into it, which compliments nicely to its drag+drop input method.

Another advantage is the ease of collecting content since the Utility Bar is fixed at the bottom. The distance that the user has to drag is limited which makes the saving experience convenient and enjoyable. This is an important criteria because it is the primarily functionality of Gimme bar.

All the “saveable” content has a “Drag Embed” button that appears on the top left corner of the content. You can drag the content that you want to save by dragging into the Gimme Bar.

The saving menu appears automatically as you have dropped a saved web content into one of the two boxes. “Public Firehose” can be viewed by everyone; whereas “Private Stash” can only be viewed by you.

If you decide to share your saved content, you can decide which collection that it belongs to. You can save it into multiple collections as well as creating a new collection if you want.

The title is automatically generated, and can be edited. For the description, you can enter tags by using the “#” in front of the word.

Gimme Bar allows you to create a tweet easily by clicking the Twitter icon. If you want to use a third–party Twitter application, you can just use the provided shortened URL.

However, there are two functions that Gimme Bar is currently missing:

  • Delete the content within the Gimme Bar
  • A physical save button

Delete the content within the Gimme Bar

Right now, if you save something, you cannot delete the item unless you go to your Gimme Bar’s home page. I was trying to delete saved content by dragging it out; however, you can make your saved content private by dragging it into the Private Stash box. To me, this makes no sense.

To ensure a great user experience, the interface has to be consistent and clear. In this case, the drag and drop input method is not consistent. If the user is able to save the content by dragging into the Gimme Bar, then the user should be able to delete it by dragging it out of the Gimme Bar or at least having a delete button in the menu.

A Physical Save Button

There are still some areas that need improvement. Gimme Bar uses the auto-save approach, which will save the title, the description and the content by clicking the close button. I’m finding this to be a bit awkward because there is no clear indication that auto-save is enabled when you close the Utility Bar. There is a visual feedback to notify the user that the content is saved, but it is only after the users close the Gimme Bar.

One simple solution would be renaming the button as “save and close”. This way the users understand that they are not simply closing the Utility Bar. It is a small adjustment but it makes a difference because the function of the button is clearly communicated. The advantage of this adjustment also keeps Gimme Bar current one-click process, which contributes to its ease of use experience.

Stay tuned for the second part of the review.

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