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Flash + Java + AJAX + IM = VelvetPuffin

Posted by Moxie Zhang | August 10, 2007 .

VelvetPuffin, it is a very rare case that all the interesting RIA technologies have been used in one place in a startup. It even more rare that they are applied very elegantly. Aside from everything else, I would highly recommend the site design of this startup, VelvetPuffin. If to use one word to describe its UI design, that’ll be Consistency.

They have some AJAX effects here and there. They use Flash to do the registration and sign-in as well as some promotional photo viewing as shown below. The main function, instant messaging, is carried through Java applet when invoke from the browser. The mobile version is a J2ME application. The desktop version works for both Windows and Mac. And I’m not sure what’s made of it. The desktop for Windows has a bunch of .vpx files for the forms. Doesn’t look like Java. Anybody?

But regardless, one thing you will quickly notice is that no matter online, offline or on mobile, the UI elements are extremely consistent. I guess that’s the whole point of good UI design. The common users won’t care about what the system is made of. They just want to use where ever, when ever and how ever they want, especially in the IM case. Only people like us always want to figure out what’s under the hood because we like to make things.

By the way, IM is a very crowded are for startup lately. By creating a VelvetPuffin Account, you can import all your IM buddies from Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and ICQ to create a private community of friends, (even if they are not yet VelvetPuffin members). View and select your favorite videos and photos from YouTube, Metacafe, Google Video instantly. You don’t need to launch a browser and you can do it from your mobile phone or your computer. It works with any wireless carrier and it’s free! So, it’s social IM.

VelvetPuffin Flash + Java + AJAX + IM = VelvetPuffin

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