A Spiffy Web App

Let me first say that I don’t do enough presentations to consider myself a subject matter expert.  Back in the day, I made my way through college by being an Aldus Persuasion expert.  I’d get the phone call on a Friday night for 300 slides to be done for a Tuesday meeting.  Myself and a couple of other college students would slave the weekend getting them done.  So I guess I have some knowledge, just not recent knowledge.

So is 280 Slides a great web app?  Seems to work exactly as described and it looks a lot like Keynote.  But there are a few things that just wouldn’t be acceptable in a desktop app.  For example, if you click on an object it becomes selected.  A selected object is outlined and has selection handles.  But when the mouse gets to the handles the cursor doesn’t change state.

Does that make it unworkable?  No, but it’s not what users of a desktop app would expect.  And maybe that’s where my biggest beef with web apps are.  People absolutely rave about how well such-and-such web app works, but taking the exact same thing and putting it in a desktop app would make it ‘unacceptable’ to everyone.

280 Slides has gotten drag and drop to work.  Super.  But I couldn’t seem to find keyboard shortcuts and their help system was non-existent.  All things that desktop users expect.

As to whether or not it’s useful, in college I had to travel 20 miles to the near sububs to the company where they had the data, Mac’s and most of all the software.  Web apps eliminate the need to have installed software in a specific location so that’s a huge advantage.  However, I lose my web connection enough to be lost when it’s not there so is it really an advantage?

I’m not railing against 280 Slides in particular because I think it has some awesome capabilities.  I’m just wonder if we’ve lowered our expectations so much for web apps that anything approaching desktop app functionality is ‘awesome’?  Until web apps no longer need the browser I think that’s going to be the case.

Your thoughts?