Adobe Buzzword: Rich User Experience

Adobe Buzzword: Rich User Experiences

This week’s blog will be about the fourth pattern in Tim O’Reilly’s ‘Design Patterns and Business Models’: Rich User Experiences and in regards to Rich Internet Applications (RIA). This blog will cover the Web 2.0 Application of Adobe Buzzword and I will go on to discuss how Buzzword relates to a Richer User Experience and its many benefits.

Firstly, what are RIA’s?

Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s) are web-based applications that have many features/characteristics of a desktop application which are hosted via a web page using browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Java and Microsoft Silverlight. RIA’s have the ability to combine the best elements of a desktop interface with web pages which therefore generate a richer user experience. One such example of an RIA is Adobe Buzzword.

What is Adobe Buzzword and how is it a RIA?

Virtual Ubiquity an Adobe Company created Adobe Buzzword based on the Adobe Flash platform. Adobe Buzzword is an online word processor where users are able to create, store and share documents with others. Users are able to provide team mates, friends and family members with permission to access files where they are able to read and edit documents. Some of the Adobe Buzzword features include: cut, copy and paste functions. Other features include toolbars that enable users to organise text in paragraphs, use bulleted/numbered lists, fonts, insert images and table and spell check. These features work within the application just the same as a traditional Word Processor such as Microsoft Word.

Virtual Ubiquity took the traditional features of a desktop Word processing application and created Adobe Buzzword. The result is an online word processor which provides a rich user experience. Users that utilise Adobe Buzzword can and will experience the following benefits:

  • An easy to use interface – user friendly
  • Allows commenting to those sharing the document
  • Keeps track of document history allowing users to revert back to previous versions
  • Enables users to store their documents in a single repository
  • Allows users to import Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), plain text (.txt), Rich Text Format (.rtf) and Open Document Format (.odt) files
  • Provides the traditional features as a desktop application (cut, copy, paste, tables, images etc).

Adobe Buzzword vs. Zoho Writer

Like Adobe Buzzword, Zoho Writer is an online word processor where users are able to create, store and share documents. However, Zoho Writer is a much more established online word processor in regards to the functionality that it provides users compared to Adobe Buzzword. Zoho Writer has taken a step further in the sense that they have provided users with the ability to post documents to blogs, upload documents from Google Docs and they have also provided users with offline support whereas Adobe Buzzword are still in the process of achieving that feature.

Zoho Writer also offers its users with almost twenty fonts compared to seven fonts provided by Adobe Buzzword, emoticons and enables users to save documents in Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, SXW, Open Document Format, HTML, Rich Text Format and plain text formats. There are some significant differences between Adobe Buzzword and Zoho Writer as far as features is concerned. Another key difference/benefit of Zoho Writer is that users are able to signup for free and still use full functionality whereas Adobe Buzzword offers a free sort of ‘trail’ version, however, limits functionality such as web conferencing numbers, PDF conversions and storage space.

Future Plans for Adobe Buzzword

Adobe and Virtual Ubiquity plan to invest in Buzzword which will leverage the Adobe AIR runtime by integrating Buzzword with a variety of Adobe’s existing online document collaboration services. These include, Create Adobe PDF online, Adobe Document Centre which helps users retain control of documents and track their usage, and Adobe Acrobat Connect software.

References (2011). Buzzword.

Adobe. (2011). Adobe to Acquire Virtual Ubiquity.

Nations, D. (2011). Free Online Word Processors.

Zoho. (2010). Zoho Writer.


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  1. #1 by benry07 on April 8, 2011 - 12:18 am

    Good application, easy to read and able to understand the points your putting across. My only concern with Adobe Buzzword is that its not as advanced as Zoho Writer as you have mentioned in your blog, will this limit the number of people that will use it.

    • #2 by bkb90 on April 8, 2011 - 12:26 am

      Hi Benry,
      To be honest I thought of that as well. However, because Adobe is a well-known company with a wide user/customer base already across its current products, I think that once Adobe and Virtual Ubiquity invest in and get Buzzword to full functionality, the word will spread quickly and the tables may turn.

      • #3 by benry07 on April 8, 2011 - 12:37 am

        I agree with you that Adobe is very well-known company, so this may help them with their intentions. With applications like this Adobe Buzzword, Zoho Writer and Google Docs, which are all online applications would you say that they are pushing to get rid of the desktop applications for an example Microsoft Word.

      • #4 by bkb90 on April 8, 2011 - 12:51 am

        Oh yeah for sure. I think companies such as Adobe, Zoho and Google are definitely all pushing to get rid of traditional world processing desktop applications such as Microsoft Word. I mean online word processors are a great alternative to desktop applications in the sense that you don’t have to buy the application and install it on your computer. The online word processors are mostly free (with the exception of Adobe Buzzword which requires some payment for full functionality) and they are easy to use and quick to get started with.
        What are your views on this? Do you think that the tables may turn one day, that will see us using online word processors besides the traditional desktop applications?

      • #5 by benry07 on April 8, 2011 - 1:03 am

        Personal I believe they are trying to push the traditional desktop applications out the window. We will be using the online applications sooner then we think. My biggest concern with using these type of online word processors is the security of the information that may be stored within the applications and what might happen to it.

  2. #6 by lauradarvill on April 8, 2011 - 10:41 am

    i agree with you on that last point. what happens when security is breached.. or documents are lost?

    • #7 by bkb90 on April 18, 2011 - 11:23 pm

      In regards to security of documents, files are by default set to private, but, you can choose your own security settings such as sharing with friends etc. Google also stresses the use of ‘strong’ passwords for your account login as well.
      And in regards to lost documents, Google has a File Revision History feature which allows you to revert back to recent versions of your documents. However, this does not always work. There are a number of Google doc users who have encountered this issue of lost documents. Pretty sure Google knows about it and are trying to get this fixed. And I guess, this is one of the flaws in using Google docs, but I haven’t experienced any issues whilst using docs.

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