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Designing Powerful Web Applications Using AJAX and Other RIAs
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Designing Powerful Web Applications Using AJAX and Other RIAs

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This is the slide deck from the workshop given at UI11 on October 9, 2006. This presentation was given with myself (David Malouf) and Bill Scott (AJAX Evangelist @ Yahoo!). ...

This is the slide deck from the workshop given at UI11 on October 9, 2006. This presentation was given with myself (David Malouf) and Bill Scott (AJAX Evangelist @ Yahoo!).

The goal of the course was to teach people the basics of Interaction Design and then how to apply those principles to design using RIA technologies like AJAX and Flash.

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Designing Powerful Web Applications Using AJAX and Other RIAs Designing Powerful Web Applications Using AJAX and Other RIAs Presentation Transcript

  • Designing Powerful Web Applications with AJAX & Other Rich Internet Applications David Malouf & Bill Scott UI 11 Cambridge, MA October 9, 2006
  • Breakdown of the day
    • Section 1: … from the beginning
      • Defining RIAs & RIA Technologies
      • How to pick the right technology for your project
      • Looking at current examples of RIAs
    • Section 2: Interaction Design for RIAs
      • Understanding Patterns
      • AJAX Design Patterns
      • Design Principles
    • Section 3: Design Practice
      • Tools of the trade
        • Designing
        • Communicating Design
      • Communicate this RIA (exercise)
    • Section 4: Design your own RIA
      • What is “design”—the verb?
      • Design your own RIA (exercise)
  • What is an RIA?
    • Give credit, where credit is due …
      • Macromedia (today Adobe) coined the term “Rich Internet Application” to describe the growing trend of adding media richness (more motion internal to a single page view) due to the creation of applications using their product Flash MX.
    • The simple answer:
      • Connected
      • Distributed
      • Local
      • Intelligent
      • Moving
  • What does it mean for us today?
    • Emulating desktop behaviors
    • Cinematic Effects
    • Client-side (in browser) …
      • Data management
      • Business logic management
    • Re-definition of the “page” metaphor
    • Required connection to local machine (optional)
  • Emulating Desktop Behaviors
    • Drag & Drop
    • Menu & Tool bars
    • Windows & Wizards
    • Panels
    • Trees
    • Form validation
    • Non-HTML controls
      • Accordian
      • Combobox
      • Spinner box
      • Sliders
    • Keyboard Actions
    • Context Menus
    Google Spreadsheet
  • Cinematic Effects: Animation for added context
    • Where am I going? Where was I?
    • Action completion
    • Object state change
    • System progress
    • Animation for aesthetic reasons is also viable
    LaszloSystems
  • What happens to our page? “ There is no [page].” - Neo “ There is no page; only pathways” -- Emily Chang & Max Kiesler of ideacodes A page is a metaphor of a moment of uninterrupted context Kayak
  • What’s all the fuss about Web 2.0?
    • O’Reilly as trend spotter …
    • RIAs is only one component of the trend
    • Other components
      • User generated
      • Mashed up & Remixed
      • Open & iterative
      • Limited designer role (if at all)
    • Separately nothing new, but a trend (critical mass) makes it worth noting.
    • Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s warning not to create new bubble – [The Register – Aug ’06]
  • The Technologies
    • DHTML – HTML + JavaScript + CSS
    • AJAX – DHTML + XML
    • Flash
    • Browser Extensions/Plug-ins
    • Java
    • ActiveX
    • Others not to be discussed
      • XUL, CURL, etc.
    • Backend Frameworks
  • Pure Browser: DHMTL & AJAX
    • Nothin’ but browser
    • Uses very open technologies
    • Allows for simple richness
    • AJAX – new info from server without refresh
    • A JavaScript call makes a query to the server
    • Server returns XML
    • JavaScript manipulates CSS to reformat XML in place on existing screen
  • Visualizing the AJAX effect JJ Garrett-Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications (Feb 2005)
  • Flash (by Adobe)
    • Requires an installed plug-in
    • Created to bring animation and interactivity to the web
    • Uses vector graphics
    • Not native, but ubiquitous // open format
    • Visual development environment
      • Tied to Flex development environment
    Goowy
  • Extensions
    • Different browsers have different ways of adding extensions to themselves.
    • Behaves as if a part of the browser
      • Toolbars
      • Status bars
      • Sidebars
      • Menu add-ons
    • Greasemonkey for Firefox
    Google Notebook
  • Java & ActiveX (with .NET)
    • Installed applications that can …
      • run inside the browser window
      • control the browser
      • connect the browser to the rest of the local client
    • Virtual Machines & Frameworks
      • Java requires a pre-installed virtual machine or emulator. Once installed any Java-base application can run.
      • Frameworks are a collection of components and controls
        • .NET requires the installation of the framework
        • SWING or AWT are two frameworks for Java
    IntraLinks
  • Backend Frameworks
    • DOJO
    • Script.aculo.us
    • Rico
    • Ruby on Rails
    • ASP.NET
    • Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI)
    • Atlas
    • Backbase
  • Choosing a Technology
    • Deployment Environment
      • Local clients
      • Enterprise considerations
      • Iteration cycles
    • Development Environment
      • Training & capabilities of team against time and resources available for project
    • The Design
      • Browser to desktop connection
  • Deployment
    • Can my users install something?
      • Tech savvy enough
      • Enterprise allow them to
    • Do I plan on “tweaking” rapidly, or will my product follow a more standard release cycle?
    • Am I willing to use closed or otherwise non-ubiquitous technologies?
  • The Design
    • How much integration do I need to add between the browser and the rest of a user’s local desktop environment?
    • Does my design require cinematic effects between scenes, or just within them? (or none at all?)
    • At what point do I need to manage calls to and from a remote server in my design?
  • Keeping up with the Tech
    • Well it is really up to you …
    • Books
    • Blogsphere
    • Tech Meetups
    • UnConferences
    • Conferences
    • … well you are here.
  • Exercise: Let’s start a project
    • Goal: Pick a technology for your project. This project will be continued.
    • Criteria for the design
      • Application Service (Hosted)
        • Infinite Audience
        • Business-to-Business community
      • File Management System
        • Moving lots of files
      • Collaborative
      • Media Centric
    • Criteria for Development
      • Old-school software engineering;
      • Highly formally educated group
  • Time to explore
    • Empressr – Desktop Presentation
    • NetFlix – DVD by mail
    • Meebo – Web-IM
    • Flickr – Photo Sharing
    • Zimbra – Web Groupware
  • Section 2 HERE
    • BILL’s Section
  • Section 3: Design Practice Designing and Communicating Design
  • Designing vs. Communicating vs. Documenting
    • Designing –conceive an idea through a design process.
    • Communicating
      • Get buy in
      • Collaborate to ensure proper implementation
    • Documenting
      • Archive ideas
      • “ Hit by a bus” contingency
  • Design-ING
    • != conceiving, creation, producing
    • Formalized process
      • Studio
      • Divergent unrefined thinking followed by
      • Evaluation, testing, and reflection
  • 3 basic steps to designing
    • Sketching
    • Framework and Language
    • Refinement
  • Sketching What do you see here? Rapid & Rough Multiplicity Communicate CONCEPTS
  • Framework and Language Create Structure Navigation Language Object Action Modifiers
  • Refinement Details Behavior
  • Designing Behavior
    • Time: Behavior cannot be static
    • It is not “flow” between contexts;
    • happens within a context
    • Multiple states
      • Sometimes Fluid motion
    • Hard to communicate “intra-contextual” behaviors using static renderings
      • More difficult to test it.
  • Sample Process
    • Sketch on paper/whiteboard
    • Scan/Photograph into digital environment
    • Trace (or re-draw) using computer tool
    • Use “ blocking ” tool to define framework
    • As further detail is required to refine framework fill in blocks using a higher fidelity drawing tool.
    • Add interactivity so that behavior can be experienced , evaluated, tested, and reflected upon.
  • Discuss: Example Process
    • What Properties through this process did we notice that might apply to the tools we decide to use?
  • Pain
        • Wireframing Ajax is a [expletive]... We have to determine all of the things a user might do, and wireframe the blessed moments of each possibility. - Jeffrey Zeldman, Web 3.0
  • The Shift
  • Assumption
    • All interaction is course-grained at page level
    • Wireframes capture layout, priority, behavior & content
  • Impact
    • Full page refresh is replaced by small content updates.
    • Hyperlink, Submit are replaced by a full range of interactive events.
    • Characterized by micro-interaction and micro-updates leading to micro-states.
  • Impact
    • Interaction is characterized by direct manipulation, lightweight actions and in-page actions
    • Nuances are multiplied
      • invitation
      • activation
      • deactivation
      • affordances
      • constraints
      • timing
      • delays
      • rate of feedback
  • Drag & Drop Interesting Moments
    • Page load
    • Mouse hover over draggable object
    • Mouse down on draggable object
    • Drag initiated (mouse down, mouse moves >= 3 pixels)
    • Drag over valid target area
    • Drag over invalid target area
    • Drag over original location
    • Drop accepted
    • Drop rejected
    • Drop on original location
  • Drag & Drop Actors
    • Page
    • Cursor
    • Tool Tip
    • Drag object
    • Drag ghost
    • Original location
    • Drop target
  • Drag & Drop Matrix
  • my.yahoo Interesting Moments
  • Adaptive Path: Micro States
  • Yahoo!: Micro States
  • Animation with Visio
  • Animation with Photoshop
  • Section 4: Designing an RIA
    • “ I design software”
    • “ I’m wearing design er jeans”
    • “ interaction design ”
    • “ design school”
    • “ That design looks cool”
  • What is “design”?
    • Design as noun (I like that “design”)
      • Is the result of a conceived idea, whether or not it was actually “designed”
    • Design as verb (I “design” software)
      • A process of creativity
      • Non-linear
      • Assumes there is more than one elegant solution to any single problem
      • Considers the measurable and the aesthetic
  • Simple Design Exercise
    • Problem:
    • I need a device that allows a user to move & select objects, text and graphics in a graphical interface
    • Let’s work through this …
  • Making Design (verb) Work
    • Divergent thinking
      • Skew, bend, melt, tear … change!
    • Evaluation is separate from Ideation
      • Put your judge on hold
    • Multiple minds
    • Model, Model, Model
    • Taking the road least traveled can bring you back to the freeway
      • Process ideas in disconnected ways
      • Connect disconnected ideas in separate exercise
  • Exercise: Criteria From Section 1
    • Criteria for the design
      • Application Service (Hosted)
        • Infinite Audience
        • Business-to-Business community
      • File Management System
        • Moving lots of files
      • Collaborative
      • Media Centric
    • Criteria for Development
      • Old-school software engineering;
      • Highly formally educated group
  • Exercise: Moving forward
    • Need to share corporate media objects across different enterprises
    • Need to collaborate on these objects
      • Annotate
      • Version
      • Append
    • Need to publish out to 3 rd parties
    • Don’t worry we aren’t doing this whole application …
  • Exercise: Annotate
    • Design a set of screens that make up one page
    • Displays both a list objects and single object
    • Allows the user to comment on that object
    • Track commenting
    • Annotate on media directly
    • Create a collection and “send” that collection
  • Questions ? Resources: Dave’s Blog: www.synapticburn.com Bill’s Blog: looksgoodworkswell.blogspot.com