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First person to mention that they have tags and we don’t gets a noogie.
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Having the same UI doesn’t necessarily mean that they are lame.
Most search engines have the same UI, does it make them lame? nope.
Perhaps you should be proud that a company like Amazon decided that the UI you have designed for Y! Answers is good enough for them.
Does the fact that search.yahoo.com has almost the same looks and functionality as google.com make Yahoo lame?
Like evertything in UI design, if the UI is done right and other adopt it, it might become a defacto standard like the UI that we have today for search engines. It might not be complete, it might not be the best, but it’s common grounds for everyone to start and give their users some kind of a unified user experience so that the next search start up will be able to make new users understand instantly what to do.
I am indeed proud. The Lameville title was just too catchy to pass up and I agree that it might be a bit harsh. I guess I’m just annoyed that others are copying our site in general.
Also, this form is lame because it does not look like the rest of their site. It makes me guess that they started off by copying Yahoo! Answers and then iterated over each element of their design in order to make it look different. For instance, their answering form looks completely different and has a bright blue background. Seems like they didn’t get to the ‘makeover’ of this form yet.
Borrowing excellent ideas from others and making them your own is something we all certainly do, but copying others directly and then pretending otherwise is lame. I would bet that by the time they come out of the invite-only beta, this form will look different.
As you said, Askville is still in private beta (although they are inviting quite a bit of people).
It seems as though Askville is similar to A9 in the sense that it’s currently a side project (although unlike A9 it doesn’t have its own domain without the amazon.com suffix). Seems its like a playground for Amazon at the moment.
They have the infrastructure for running a web scale project as well as the expertise in recommendation and NLP to do some interesting stuff.
I also don’t think they “pretend” to be claiming this UI part their own. It just there, with a couple of stuff they added (like the tagging – and I don’t think you can Email me a noogie) which is not similar to Y! Answers suggested category. They also don’t have multiple stages like Y! Answer has
for asking the question.
I wouldn’t judge them too hard on the ask form, though and I do hope, like you, that it will look radically different (mainly from a UI stand point)when they go live.
I don’t know if you also program in .NET (I know Y! Answers is not written in .NET ;-), but check out my Advanced .NET debugging blog if you are interested… (what a shameless Israeli I am, doing shameless blog promotions :-) )