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Jux User Interface

Using Jux to make a website: A Review

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Jux is a new (and free) way to make a website that focuses on featuring your content without the distraction of sidebars, advertising or buttons. The main thing you’ll notice about a Jux website is that each post has a high resolution background image that expands (or contracts) to fill the entire browser window. Despite having a few teething issues, Jux looks like it is going to provide a fresh alternative to the traditional blog that makes it almost impossible to make your content look bad.

The Different Content types in Jux: Blockquote, Article, Photo, Video, Slideshow and Countdown

The Different Content types in Jux to choose from

A Jux homepage consists of one scrolling page of featured images from your posts displayed in three columns. The single page view of each post uses that same image as it’s background image. The post can be in the form of an image, slideshow, article, video, countdown (top 10 list) or block-quote.

nizzie.jux.com - My sister's Jux site displaying her artwork

nizzie.jux.com - My sister's Jux site displaying her artwork

When entering your content you see the changes you make to the single page view instantly. There are standard formats with each type of content but within that you get to choose your text size and colours and choose between a small number of fonts. Your images can be uploaded from your desktop or you can use your photos from Flickr or Facebook. After uploading you can then choose to put your image through an Instagram like filter for special effect. You can also share your content via email, Twitter, Facebook or embedding it elsewhere online.

User Interface when writing an article

The user interface shows your changes as you make them

Each post has a view count and while you have your own Jux web page, all Jux posts from everywhere are combined into one big stream. On the Explore Jux page you will find posts that have been specifically featured for you to browse.

Explore Jux featured posts page

Look! "Marionette Birds" is featured on the "Explore Jux" page!

There are certain limitations in using Jux for a website that you should be aware of, but I want to empahsise that most, if not all of these limitations are temporary. It is evident from the support pages that Jux is working very hard at responding to users’ feedback and despite these issues I am very excited about how Jux is evolving.

The issues are:

  • links can only be made using HTML
  • unpredictable image cropping
  • videos support YouTube only
  • you can only use a .jux domain name
  • no search function
  • no commenting
  • only one image per article
  • users cannot subscribe to your website

The main issue I experienced was that of unpredictable cropping. I found that most images appeared cropped unless the browser window was the exact ratio of the original image. This problem was particularly prominent when it came to vertical images. As you can see below, this life drawing was cropped and it was only until I re-sized my browser window inwards that I could see the whole artwork. The viewer has no way of knowing if they are seeing only part of the image – why would they? They haven’t seen the original artwork and don’t know that there is supposed to be a head and body on top of that derrière!

Widescreen view of Life Drawing

The widescreen view of 'Life Drawing' is severely cropped

View when resized browser window to see whole artwork

View when browser window is re-sized to see whole artwork

I am told that fixing this issue is top priority. There will be two options: to have your vertical images reposition (so important stuff remains visible) or to have them fit the entire screen. The only way around this problem at the moment is to make your portrait images landscape by adding some white-space on either side before you upload them.

Another main issue worth elaborating on is Jux’s lack of a search function. Because a Jux website has no sidebars of links or a search bar, the only way of finding a particular post is by scanning through them all. This means that effectively, a Jux website is a beautiful Twitter stream on steroids. I am told that this also is a temporary situation and that Jux is “working on ways to organize posts so they stay fresh and easy to browse”.

So if these temporary limitations aren’t a deal breaker for you, then go check out Jux. And if they are, stay tuned because Jux is constantly evolving in response to users demands and may end up being the platform you have been looking for.

UPDATE: Jux released a major update on October 11. Check out their blog post, “NEW ON JUX: THE LONG AND THE SHORT” for all the details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • http://www.jux.com Ted Metcalfe

    Thank you for the thoughtful review. You’ve more or less outlined our to-do list!

    Jux can, as you say, be a “Twitter stream on steroids,” which is thrilling in its own right. However, it’s also well-suited for more focused stories or topics — a trip to Kathmandu, a fascination with tea, a collection of short stories or photos, the first year of a child. Between tiny tweets and full-size, hard-to-keep-up websites orblogs, lies a huge, under-explored range of stuff to make!

  • http://debbieteakle.com Debbie Teakle

    Thanks, I can’t wait to see it when you’re done. I’m also looking forward to being able to follow other people’s sites.

  • http://twitter.com/unendin Ted Metcalfe

    My how time flies. It’s interesting to reflect on your bullet points 6 months later!

    Then: links can only be made using HTML
    Now: pasted urls, email addresses and twitter handles are now autolinked.

    Then: unpredictable image cropping
    Now: choice of multiple photo layouts in Articles, BlockQuotes, Photos and SlideShows. If the whole image doesn’t fit in the chosen layout, you can move the image around to pick the crop.

    Then: videos support YouTube only
    Now: Vimeo too!

    Then: you can only use a .jux domain name
    Now: Custom domains are easy now.

    Then: no search function
    Now: Still no search.

    Then: no commenting
    Now: Coming in the next week or two!

    Then: only one image per article
    Now: Still true. In the works.

    Then: users cannot subscribe to your website
    Now: You can follow and gather up followers (as well as repost)

    And Jux has done a few other things along the way :)

    Happy half-anniversary!

  • Stuart King

    Too bad, I spent a few hours making a slideshow today and posted it on Facebook. Almost all of my friends have Android devices now and they can’t view it, making me look like a clown. Only a few of them still use iPhones. Are you seriously saying that the website can’t been seen on devices like HTC Ones and Galaxy phones and tablets??? I would have never spent the time if I’d been warned at the start about this. You MUST either fix this or put a big warning splashscreen up saying that “Your work may not be visible to a large number of people trying to view it on modern devices”.