Desktop app --> Web app guidelines

21 Aug 2006 - 2:55pm
7 years ago
5 replies
1056 reads
Paul Sherman
2006

Today I received an interesting question from a Product Manager in another
business unit. She is part of an initiative to create a "web-based" version
of their Windows-only desktop application. Her question was:

"Has anyone [in the other application groups] developed guidelines to bring
their application to the web?"

I told her I'd ping a few UX/IxD/UCD discussion groups.

So, does anyone know of a good set of guidelines for "web-alizing" a desktop
app?

Needless to say, I had a boatload of questions for her, some of which were:
--Did she mean "the app is delivered in a browser" or "delivered in a thin
client, not necessarily inside a browser?" Other?
--Will current users be required to / have the option to use the web-based
version? Or is the web version only for new customers?

Thanks all,

Paul

---
Paul Sherman
Director, User-Centered Design
Sage Software

Comments

22 Aug 2006 - 7:13am
pabini
2004

Hi Paul

There's a good list of style guides on the SAP Design Guild site:

http://www.sapdesignguild.org/community/book_people/ext_sg.asp

This list includes the excellent Oracle Browser Look and Feel (BLAF)
Guidelines (2004) for Web applications:

. Oracle Browser Look and Feel (BLAF) Guidelines (2004)
. BLAF Guideline Specifications

However, last time I looked a while back, those guidelines were Web 1.0.
With Ajax and Web 2.0, the differences between desktop and Web applications
are greatly diminished, which in many cases, lets you follow the OS GUI
design guidelines when designing applications, which are listed on the
above-mentioned page. Thus, you can have consistency between the desktop and
Web applications and reduce learning for users.

Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 15:55:31 -0400
From: "Sherman, Paul" <paul.sherman at sage.com>
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Desktop app --> Web app guidelines

So, does anyone know of a good set of guidelines for "web-alizing" a desktop
app?

22 Aug 2006 - 7:21am
Cindy Lu
2006

I would add one more question to your questions:
Who will use the guildelines if they do exist?

- Cindy

On 8/21/06, Sherman, Paul <paul.sherman at sage.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Today I received an interesting question from a Product Manager in another
> business unit. She is part of an initiative to create a "web-based" version
> of their Windows-only desktop application. Her question was:
>
> "Has anyone [in the other application groups] developed guidelines to bring
> their application to the web?"
>
> I told her I'd ping a few UX/IxD/UCD discussion groups.
>
> So, does anyone know of a good set of guidelines for "web-alizing" a desktop
> app?
>
> Needless to say, I had a boatload of questions for her, some of which were:
> --Did she mean "the app is delivered in a browser" or "delivered in a thin
> client, not necessarily inside a browser?" Other?
> --Will current users be required to / have the option to use the web-based
> version? Or is the web version only for new customers?
>
>
>
> Thanks all,
>
> Paul
>
> ---
> Paul Sherman
> Director, User-Centered Design
> Sage Software
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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>

22 Aug 2006 - 9:00am
mtumi
2004

I would add

- what are the reasons for building a web version as opposed to a
desktop app?
no installation? integration of data with other web apps? move to
subscription model?

with new technology like Adobe's Apollo on the horizon, the lines are
going to blur in the near future, and make the answers to this
question less obvious. Other questions would hinge on the why.

Michael

On Aug 22, 2006, at 8:21 AM, Cindy Lu wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I would add one more question to your questions:
> Who will use the guildelines if they do exist?
>
> - Cindy
>
> On 8/21/06, Sherman, Paul <paul.sherman at sage.com> wrote:
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>
>> Today I received an interesting question from a Product Manager in
>> another
>> business unit. She is part of an initiative to create a "web-
>> based" version
>> of their Windows-only desktop application. Her question was:
>>
>> "Has anyone [in the other application groups] developed guidelines
>> to bring
>> their application to the web?"
>>
>> I told her I'd ping a few UX/IxD/UCD discussion groups.
>>
>> So, does anyone know of a good set of guidelines for "web-alizing"
>> a desktop
>> app?
>>
>> Needless to say, I had a boatload of questions for her, some of
>> which were:
>> --Did she mean "the app is delivered in a browser" or "delivered
>> in a thin
>> client, not necessarily inside a browser?" Other?
>> --Will current users be required to / have the option to use the
>> web-based
>> version? Or is the web version only for new customers?
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks all,
>>
>> Paul
>>

22 Aug 2006 - 9:46am
Paul Sherman
2006

Those are good observations, Michael. I suspect the answer - or answers - to
the general "what are the reasons" question is some form of "all of the
above". I'm going to ask the product mgr in any case.

Also, I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I don't know a thing about
Apollo...now I have to go google around for it during lunch instead of
obsessively reading Engadget... :-)

Thanks all,

Paul

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Tuminello [mailto:mt at motiontek.com]
I would add

- what are the reasons for building a web version as opposed to a desktop
app?
no installation? integration of data with other web apps? move to
subscription model?

with new technology like Adobe's Apollo on the horizon, the lines are going
to blur in the near future, and make the answers to this question less
obvious. Other questions would hinge on the why.

22 Aug 2006 - 10:02am
LukeW
2004

Hi Paul,
Here's some of my thoughts on this topic that might be useful:

Design Considerations for Web-based Applications
http://www.lukew.com/resources/articles/web_applications.html
Though a bit dated now, this paper outlines a set of guidelines for
web-based applications interfaces, which fuse translated client-
application guidelines and re-purposed Web usability guidelines. At
the least it helps make the case for why Web apps are different form
client apps.

Here's a follow-up on that original paper titled The Difference in
Web Applications: http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?339

Bringing Desktop Interactions Online
http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?261
As the gap between desktop and Web applications continues to close,
interaction designs previously reserved for the OS are making their
way online. Unfortunately, the transition is not always a smooth one.
This points out some of the challenges of moving Desktop interactions
to the Web.

Lastly,
Web Application Solutions: A Designer’s Guide (PDF)
http://www.lukew.com/resources/WebApplicationSolutions.pdf
A guide that helps designers, product managers, and business owners
evaluate some of the most popular Web application presentation layer
solutions available today (Flash, DHTML, AJAX, Java, Smart Clients,
and more). This may be useful for deciding what front-end technology
you should use to migrate the app to the Web. there's pros and cons
for each.

Hope this helps, thanks~

On Aug 21, 2006, at 12:55 PM, Sherman, Paul wrote:

> "Has anyone [in the other application groups] developed guidelines
> to bring
> their application to the web?"
>
> I told her I'd ping a few UX/IxD/UCD discussion groups.
>
> So, does anyone know of a good set of guidelines for "web-alizing"
> a desktop
> app?

::
:: Luke Wroblewski -[ www.lukew.com ]
:: Principal, LukeW Interface Designs
:: luke at lukew.com | 408.879.9826
::

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