RIA design model?

28 Apr 2006 - 2:20pm
8 years ago
7 replies
1036 reads
J. van Geel
2006

Hi everybody,

Currently I'm working on an essay about Rich Internet Applications. In this
essay I'm trying to find and/or create a model for the development of RIA's.
This model should help people along in their thinkpad towards creating RIA's
which are created for users (user centered design) and with all the benefits
a RIA should have (seamless, connected, etc.).

It's difficult to explain in English since it isn't my core-language, but I
hope you understand the idea.

Now I was wondering if you guys (and women of course :) have articles,
links, thoughts to share about this subject. What should design teams think
of before they start creating Rich Internet Applications? What are important
aspects that are both general and specific to the creating of RIAs?

The reason I'm writing this essay is: a) I'm a last year university student
trying to get my diploma :-) b) I believe heuristics aren't enough, it
should be possible to create some sort of philosophy/model which will help
designteams to get the right mindset.

I'm looking forward to your thoughts and other stuff.

Kind regards,

Jeroen van Geel

www.jeroenvangeel.com <http://www.jeroenvangeel.com/>

Comments

28 Apr 2006 - 2:36pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Hiya,

I think my article, "AJAX for Designers" would have some of this content:
http://synapticburn.com/comments.php?id=97_0_1_0_C

Here are also my slides from the IxD Symposium and IA Summit about RIAs,
AJAX, Web 2.0, and prototyping:
http://synapticburn.com/comments.php?id=136_0_1_0_C

J. van Geel wrote:
> Now I was wondering if you guys (and women of course :) have articles,
> links, thoughts to share about this subject. What should design teams think
> of before they start creating Rich Internet Applications? What are important
> aspects that are both general and specific to the creating of RIAs?

28 Apr 2006 - 3:04pm
Jenifer Tidwell
2003

Jeroen's request brings up a topic I've been wanting to raise on this list
for a while.

Shouldn't the design process for RIAs be basically the same as for highly
interactive desktop applications?

I can see it being different from more static, traditional Web sites. But
it seems to me that in spite of their different implementation technologies,
RIAs and desktop applications share the same fundamental problems:

* understanding and matching the user's mental model of a task
* communicating "what you can do next" to the user
* managing state and flow through a dynamic application
* maintaining immediacy and smoothness despite possible connectivity
problems
* future-proofing later releases against users' learned habits, stored
artifacts, etc.

All of which have solutions in well-known design techniques and processes,
of course -- user observation, task analysis, informed choices of controls
and layouts, prototypes, usability testing, and so on.

So I'd like to ask those who, like me, have worked on both RIAs and desktop
applications: Do the RIAs you work on introduce anything fundamentally
different from other kinds of applications, in terms of design process? I
don't see it, but I may be missing something.

Thanks!

- Jenifer

On 4/28/06, J. van Geel <ida at jeroenvangeel.com> wrote:
>
>
> Currently I'm working on an essay about Rich Internet Applications. In
> this
> essay I'm trying to find and/or create a model for the development of
> RIA's.
> This model should help people along in their thinkpad towards creating
> RIA's
> which are created for users (user centered design) and with all the
> benefits
> a RIA should have (seamless, connected, etc.).

---------------------------------------
Jenifer Tidwell
jenifer.tidwell at gmail.com
http://designinginterfaces.com

28 Apr 2006 - 5:06pm
leo.frishberg a...
2005

In response to Jeroen request and Jennifer's response, here's an article
I wrote recently on at least a couple of aspects of this topic.

My epiphany came after being employed as an IA at a Web agency working
on information-intensive sites after 15 years of interactive
desktop/enterprise application UI design.

The differences between fielding an RIA vs. an enterprise/desktop app
are both subtle and immense. Put into the mix a pure "info-space"
engagement and the differences are mind-blowing (at least they were for
me).

www.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000063.php

Leo Frishberg
Architect, User Experience
Advanced Development Group
Logic Analyzer Product Line
Ph: +1 503.627.2833
Fax: +1 503.627.2009
Tektronix, Inc.

Jeroen's request brings up a topic I've been wanting to raise on this
list
for a while.

Shouldn't the design process for RIAs be basically the same as for
highly
interactive desktop applications?

>
> Currently I'm working on an essay about Rich Internet Applications. In
> this
> essay I'm trying to find and/or create a model for the development of
> RIA's.
> This model should help people along in their thinkpad towards creating
> RIA's
> which are created for users (user centered design) and with all the
> benefits
> a RIA should have (seamless, connected, etc.).

---------------------------------------
Jenifer Tidwell
jenifer.tidwell at gmail.com
http://designinginterfaces.com
________________________________________________________________
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28 Apr 2006 - 8:16pm
Donna Maurer
2003

On 28 Apr 2006 at 16:04, Jenifer Tidwell wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Jeroen's request brings up a topic I've been wanting to raise on this list
> for a while.
>
> Shouldn't the design process for RIAs be basically the same as for highly
> interactive desktop applications?
>

I'm with you and I too have been writing and speaking about this.

I think some of the difference is audience. When I'm writing and talking about this, the
audience are usually web designers or developers who have been working on static
sites and are now moving to add interactivity. Many don't know about all the things we
have already thought through for interactive desktop apps...

Donna
--
Donna Maurer
Maadmob Interaction Design

e: donna at maadmob.net
web: http://maadmob.net/
book: http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/
AOL IM: maadmob

29 Apr 2006 - 12:25am
dszuc
2005

A potential opportunity for RIA:

Avoid the use of *multiple windows* all together through the use of a single
page interface? e.g. dashboard using sliding panels, transitions, fixed LHS
navigation etc

Challenging? - yes indeed ;)

In the past (early days of web & java applications - 1994/1995) - saw the
use of a secondary windows within web applications that were non-modal,
ignored or minimised to the task bar by users and/or left open (resulting in
multiple open windows)

Rgds,

Daniel Szuc
Principal Usability Consultant
Apogee Usability Asia Ltd
www.apogeehk.com
'Usability in Asia'

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Donna
Maurer
Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:17 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] RIA design model?

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

On 28 Apr 2006 at 16:04, Jenifer Tidwell wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Jeroen's request brings up a topic I've been wanting to raise on this
> list for a while.
>
> Shouldn't the design process for RIAs be basically the same as for
> highly interactive desktop applications?
>

I'm with you and I too have been writing and speaking about this.

I think some of the difference is audience. When I'm writing and talking
about this, the
audience are usually web designers or developers who have been working on
static
sites and are now moving to add interactivity. Many don't know about all the
things we
have already thought through for interactive desktop apps...

Donna
--
Donna Maurer
Maadmob Interaction Design

e: donna at maadmob.net
web: http://maadmob.net/
book: http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/
AOL IM: maadmob

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription
Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
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29 Apr 2006 - 1:39am
Bill Scott
2005

I have been presenting a set of 7 design principles for rich internet web design (specifically looking at designing for Ajax). The response has been very favorable.

Very straightforward:
Keep it directProvide live feedbackOffer an invitationCross borders relunctantlyCreate a light footprintShow TransitionsThink in ObjectsYou can catch versions of the presentation at:
http://looksgoodworkswell.blogspot.com/2006/04/designing-for-ajax-presentation.html

If anyone is interested in the keynote presentation that includes a lot of interaction movies that illustrate the principles email me separately.

Cheers
Bill Scott
Yahoo! Ajax Evangelist
Platform UED

----- Original Message ----
From: Daniel Szuc <dszuc at apogeehk.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 10:25:47 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] RIA design model?

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

A potential opportunity for RIA:

Avoid the use of *multiple windows* all together through the use of a single
page interface? e.g. dashboard using sliding panels, transitions, fixed LHS
navigation etc

Challenging? - yes indeed ;)

In the past (early days of web & java applications - 1994/1995) - saw the
use of a secondary windows within web applications that were non-modal,
ignored or minimised to the task bar by users and/or left open (resulting in
multiple open windows)

Rgds,

Daniel Szuc
Principal Usability Consultant
Apogee Usability Asia Ltd
www.apogeehk.com
'Usability in Asia'

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Donna
Maurer
Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:17 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] RIA design model?

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

On 28 Apr 2006 at 16:04, Jenifer Tidwell wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Jeroen's request brings up a topic I've been wanting to raise on this
> list for a while.
>
> Shouldn't the design process for RIAs be basically the same as for
> highly interactive desktop applications?
>

I'm with you and I too have been writing and speaking about this.

I think some of the difference is audience. When I'm writing and talking
about this, the
audience are usually web designers or developers who have been working on
static
sites and are now moving to add interactivity. Many don't know about all the
things we
have already thought through for interactive desktop apps...

Donna
--
Donna Maurer
Maadmob Interaction Design

e: donna at maadmob.net
web: http://maadmob.net/
book: http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/
AOL IM: maadmob

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription
Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

29 Apr 2006 - 2:00am
Bill Scott
2005

You are correct. We are basically taking what we learned and applying it to the web. However, there are a few twists. The twist is because of what changed from the classic web model to the rich web model.

- The shift to a finer-grained event model. What this means to the user is they don't necessarily expect that their data is being saved automatically (gmail has auto-draft save without ever submitting; they status the change and looks like this should test well although I have no data on it). We moved the user from hyperlink & submit to events like hover and "lightly clicking" (like in digg.com)

- The Shift to immediacy. Things happen on the fly and possibly in several places at once. This forces the issue of continous feedback. Having a world of information and a community of more local & relavent information available "just-in-time" changes the way you think about designing your applications on the web.

- Discoverability
- We are introducing concepts that while expected on the desktop are not as expected in the context of a web page.
- So reliance on hover, on page tips, tours are needed to introduce the user to the desktop idioms that are making their way to the page
- We are not just introducing a new feature on the page but introducing new idioms. So we have double-duty in leading the user into interactions on our sites/apps. Once some idioms truly become learned perhaps less "props" will be needed to let someone know they can directly edit a photo title.

- Browser Based Model
- Users expect the back button to work for content/browsing models. The closer the app design is to a traditional content based site the more they will expect the back button to do "the right thing" (which of course maybe things like thinking the back button is an "undo").

- The content/document model vs. application model. At Yahoo! we found (in testing) that users are not surprised by drag and drop on the web *if* the application looks like a desktop application [Yahoo! Mail Beta]. But the hybrids (looks like a regular page but has stuff like drag and drop, inline editing, auto-save, etc.) are much more challenging to design for.

- The move from pages to the concept of curated objects. Things like trip plans (like on our Y! trip planner) become shareable, bloggable, findable, etc. It is a move from users just visiting a page to users re-finding and sharing their bookmarks, trips, articles, etc. with their community. I don't think about just creating a bunch of wireframes & pages but rather an experience within the user's mental model (hey, this is like the desktop!)

- The social dynamic of these kinds of apps. So many desktop apps were about the human to the community. These apps are about social networks with the computer hopefully becoming the conduit not the end-point. This changes the way you think about designing applications.

I'm sure I am missing others. I find the whole experience of taking all the wonderful things we learned building highly interactive desktop apps and understanding what to apply and how to apply on the web to be extremely exciting.

--
Bill Scott
Yahoo! Ajax Evangelist
Platform UED

----- Original Message ----
From: Jenifer Tidwell <jenifer.tidwell at gmail.com>
To: J. van Geel <ida at jeroenvangeel.com>
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 1:04:58 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] RIA design model?

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Jeroen's request brings up a topic I've been wanting to raise on this list
for a while.

Shouldn't the design process for RIAs be basically the same as for highly
interactive desktop applications?

I can see it being different from more static, traditional Web sites. But
it seems to me that in spite of their different implementation technologies,
RIAs and desktop applications share the same fundamental problems:

* understanding and matching the user's mental model of a task
* communicating "what you can do next" to the user
* managing state and flow through a dynamic application
* maintaining immediacy and smoothness despite possible connectivity
problems
* future-proofing later releases against users' learned habits, stored
artifacts, etc.

All of which have solutions in well-known design techniques and processes,
of course -- user observation, task analysis, informed choices of controls
and layouts, prototypes, usability testing, and so on.

So I'd like to ask those who, like me, have worked on both RIAs and desktop
applications: Do the RIAs you work on introduce anything fundamentally
different from other kinds of applications, in terms of design process? I
don't see it, but I may be missing something.

Thanks!

- Jenifer

On 4/28/06, J. van Geel <ida at jeroenvangeel.com> wrote:
>
>
> Currently I'm working on an essay about Rich Internet Applications. In
> this
> essay I'm trying to find and/or create a model for the development of
> RIA's.
> This model should help people along in their thinkpad towards creating
> RIA's
> which are created for users (user centered design) and with all the
> benefits
> a RIA should have (seamless, connected, etc.).

---------------------------------------
Jenifer Tidwell
jenifer.tidwell at gmail.com
http://designinginterfaces.com
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

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