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Having installed the Internet Explorer 9 release, I've experimented with the jumplists feature available in Windows 7 - drag a site tab down to the taskbar to create a jumplist. Works for Facebook and Twitter, anyway.

I have my suspicions about the utility of this feature - it's a neat and possibly useful feature, yet is limited to the combination of IE9 and Windows 7, plus sites implementing the appropriate code.

Given the relatively small audience at this point, is there any value in adding code to support this feature? And would it likely be more useful for a web application (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) than a typical website?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

As of right now developers would be doing this partially out of curiosity and partly to get ahead of the game. After all, as you've pointed out, the user base is tiny right now and even at full saturation the maximum numbers of users will be limited to those running IE9 and Win 7 (or newer).

I think it is a good idea, but shouldn't be a priority, to start exploring and implementing this feature in a website. Besides the fact that it's not difficult or overly time consuming to do, by implementing sooner rather then later you get a chance to reach early adopters who tend to be the ones who spread the word about new technologies. You also get a chance to flush how this new functionality can benefit you and evolve it over time so it becomes a better tool for your users and thus for you.

I think any website that is either a web application, or a content website that is large enough to have that content organized into major categories, could benefit from this. A small website or blog, etc, probably wouldn't benefit from this as not only would users be less inclined to use try it but once they saw it offered no real functionality they would probably remove it from their system.

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The key metric is percentage of repeat visitors.

Web applications usually have a high percentage of repeat visitors. A visitor is more likely to do a specific set of tasks on the app, so if you provide a deep URL that saves 3 clicks, he'd appreciate it. If you provide custom shortcuts for each user based on what he is does often, that would be even better.

Websites generally have a lower percentage of repeat visitors. If your content is well structured, and you know certain visitors are likely to visit only certain sections - you have a use case. For example, if you have a news site and know that some people only want the sports section, this may be a good feature. But its not a killer feature.

In summary, take a decision based on repeat visitor percentage, and whether you have a website v/s webapp.

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