— 10 October 2005 —

UI10 – Deconstructing Web Applications

Hagan Rivers of Two Rivers Consulting will be speaking momentarily about Deconstructing Web Applications. I am a little scared right now because AJAX (Ayax) and “Web 2.0” are listed on the overview. How do I feel about Web 2.0? I agree with Mike.

She’s done about 60 web apps on her own (about 80+ for her company). About the same as me! Woo!

She has a BS from MIT in Computer Science. Designed Netscape 1.0 through 4.0. Worked at Sun before that. Who is Sharon Iimura? She just showed an email UI from Netscape 1.0 that she designed in 2 hours. And yes, it is hideous. :)

Good thing to hear: “My ideas about web applications are constantly changing.” A good approach to design. It shouldn’t be “always do it this way.” As we all know, “it depends.”

Results from a pre-con survey.

Web app overview.

Talking about AJAX now. Showing Google Suggest as an example. And Flickr. Basecamp. Google Maps.

She says not many people are designing with AJAX. And not many apps that use it a lot in their apps. To which I say, okay. So what? If they are good designers, they will use it only when needed.

Someone just said, “I was reprimanded the other day for saying AJAX when I should have said Web 2.0.” Man, that is sad.

Talking about Wizards now. She calls them Interviews. Using the Recommended Calling Plan workflow from Cingular right now. Also looked at a recommendation system from Lands End and Turbo-Tax. These are (usually) uni-direction workflow apps. Meaning a start, a middle, and an end. Much talk about how to keep people aware of where they are in the process and how that is important. How to keep people’s data from being lost. She suggested AJAX (shocking!) to send each field of data entered as the user leaves the field. Someone said, But what about performance? She responds: it’s just a few bytes of data each time. To which I respond, But what if you have 6000 users sending that data over and over and over as they enter a callers information into the CRM tool? Just an example.

Short off-shoot discussion on eye tracking as related to where to replace action buttons, etc., as a standard.

Talking about “hub” applications right now. I would term what she calls a Hub App as just a web app. Now a “traditional” web app, thank you very much Mr. Garrett. Where you present the user with “display” data and you send them to a secondary page (either within the same browser or pop a new window) to put the user in “edit” mode. They make changes and are returned to display mode.

Navigation and Orientation within a Web App

Well, some of you may have noticed that I stopped writing mid-tutorial. 3 things happened in succession: 1) Battery got down to 6%, 2) I went to lunch, 3) Computer is acting really odd. Could have to do with the fact that it took a 3 foot fall the other day onto a hardwood floor.

Also… I didn’t go back. Don’t get me wrong. Hagan is a good presenter. Very good actually. And I think the tutorial would be great for someone who had never designed a web app before. Although, rereading the tutroial description, I expected a bit more notsomuch with the beginner stuff.

One of my dayjob coworkers is here too. He said something I agree with, “After atteneding a number of conferences I have come to the conclusion that there is no reason we can’t be the ones presenting.” So I need to get on that obviously.

And on a general note: I am a little disappointed that all the conference material is printed only. No CD or DVD. So now I have to carry heavy stuff home. :( And I can’t easily grab screen shots to add to these posts. Which might be why there is no CD or DVD…

UI10

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