What’s the hottest thing on the Web right now? Twitter, and a host of other dead-simple, single serving websites. If you plan on making a new web app, make it as simple as possible, if not simpler. Take Aviary’s Screen Capture service.
Just a short background: Aviary is a suite of web-based graphics applications, all named after birds. The branding concept is fantastic, if I do say so myself. The fact that they run on Flash and are essentially competing against the very maker of said platform—Adobe—is a very interesting feat in itself. It is, however, a bit premature as Flash remains hardware-intensive.
So, back to the dead-simple part. All you have to do is enter the URL of a website you want to screencap after Aviary.com and wait a few moments until Falcon, the simplified image markup editor, loads the image up. Crop, resize, add a few scribbles, and save your screenshot. Done!
Of course some people will need options, which the Capture page and the Talon Firefox add-on can provide. But that isn’t really Aviary’s achievement here. It managed to create a screenshot tool that requires nothing but entering a URL in the browser address bar. No need to wait for the app to start up, no need to remember special conventions to make sure the thing works properly.
Simple, elegant, brilliant. We will always have huge, complicated methods that will get the job done, but most of the time it’s the leaner, less intimidating tools that win us over.