This week’s blog, boys and girls is on the fourth pattern in Tim O’Reilly’s “Design Patterns and Business Models”
Firstly let’s cover the terms that will be covered in the blog. Rich User Experiences refer to the combination of GUI -style (Graphical User Interface) applications and multimedia content.
When you hear the term Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s) they are referring to the web-based applications that have many features/characteristics of a desktop application which are generally hosted via a web page using different types of browser plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Java and Microsoft Silverlight. The key element that makes these applications so successful is their ability to combine the best elements of a desktop interface with web pages which therefore generate a richer user experience not to mention a engaging experience that improves user satisfaction and increases productivity.
Gmail which is of course Google’s online email application facilitates a rich user experience similar to that of a desktop mail program, but with being accessible from anywhere and having strong database search ability. Created in 2004 With the design intent for web-based use, large storage space and a powerful search tool.
Another service that provides a rich user experience along with a powerful community of sharing and visual dialogue through a RIA is Flickr, a photo organizer, poster, and comment gatherer which was also started in 2004.
Not only is this used by users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media. Flickr is another perfect example of utilizing Web 2.0 to create a Rich User Experience.
I myself cannot predict where the web will be in years from now, but one thing that is for sure is that Rich Internet Applications will only continue to grow and play a large role in forming the web. In the not to distant future, I believe that there really will be no distinction between “browser based apps” and “desktop apps”, however I don’t believe one or the other will die or win, but more a mixture of both is what really makes the next generation of software compelling.
O’Reilly. Tim (2005) Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Retrieved March 29th from, http://oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=5
Ward. James (2007) What is a Rich Internet Application? Retrieved March 29th from, http://www.jamesward.com/2007/10/17/what-is-a-rich-internet-application/