Widgets and Badges

As complicated as they seem to be, widgets and badges are two of the most useful tools for a budding web developer. These spice things up, and offer features that simplify everything for both the consumer and the creator.

What makes widgets seem to be so appealing to the masses is that simply put, they do interesting things. There are a variety of features in widgets, some examples would be widgets that feature a email list form or some kind of a media player. It is really all up to the author/webmaster as to how to use them.

Just to add in a real example, I’m currently searching for appropriate widgets to include in the upcoming website I’m beginning to create for the band I’m managing and doing publicity for, A Sound Asleep.

ASA Band Shot









Currently, I am filtering out any widgets that are not:

  • Relevant to both the band and consumer/potential fans
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Appropriate for the band at this current stage of their career

So out of the ones that pass these filters, I then pick just the right ones so that I could have a site that offers a lot, yet is still clutter-less and simple. People like simple.

Badges are quite different from a widget in that a badge is simply a link to another website in the form of a (usually eye-catching) image that displays the person’s (usually the webmaster/person portrayed) credentials to establish some sort of credibility by associating the person with an organization.

This would be comparable to a “verified” image on twitter, except this image connects you to the organization’s website, where you could potentially connect to other associated members.

Simply said, to be successful, you need to say the right things in the right way to the right people. If using widgets and badges are relevant to the brand, then use them.

Say, a local-level band that’s trying to spread their music. This band would need to include widgets that display tour dates, play songs, leave a form open for mailing lists, and even connect the audience to the band through voice messages. It’s all useful, and in a world where everybody else is using these tools, it is required. As far as badges go, it would be a good idea to use any that display past achievements like “1 of AP’s 100 Bands You Need To Know 2012.”

What do you think about widgets and badges?

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