Books on IxDA and RIAs?

29 Nov 2007 - 9:29am
6 years ago
9 replies
465 reads
DrWex
2006

I'm looking for a good discussion on how the technologies that get
generally lumped under the "Web 2.0" label (which I hate, but never
mind) affect good established Web interaction design practices.

I don't need someone telling me what Ajax is, or what the value of
including customers as participants is - I get all that. What I'm
looking for is concrete discussion of how I should (re)think
workflows, user goal achievement, and design patterns when I have a
technology like AJAX available to me.

Any suggestions?

--Alan

Comments

29 Nov 2007 - 9:40am
Mark Schraad
2006

Hi Alan,

The first observation that I have is more in process than in
designing. The web is becoming much more about activity, task and
goals than about place. The standard wayfinding methods that were
used in the initial days if IA are no longer enough. In fact a simple
site diagram is not enough to accurately scope the complexity of a
"2.0" site. We now work with dynamic containers that can, not only
support a wide variety of data, but change interactions and
functionality. This is much more than a simple template/data
relationship. So, our sites and site map diagrams appear to have
become simpler, but require some additional means of communicating
the complexity - often a verbal presentation, but in some cases use
case patterns with modal diagrams.

Mark

On Nov 29, 2007, at 9:29 AM, Alan Wexelblat wrote:

> I'm looking for a good discussion on how the technologies that get
> generally lumped under the "Web 2.0" label (which I hate, but never
> mind) affect good established Web interaction design practices.
>
> I don't need someone telling me what Ajax is, or what the value of
> including customers as participants is - I get all that. What I'm
> looking for is concrete discussion of how I should (re)think
> workflows, user goal achievement, and design patterns when I have a
> technology like AJAX available to me.
>
> Any suggestions?
>
> --Alan
>

29 Nov 2007 - 9:46am
Parth Upadhye
2007

Here's a start. Jeff Patton has some very interesting and
thought-provoking ideas on WHAT is Web 2.0 His article linked off the
following page puts it very succinctly for me.

http://www.agileproductdesign.com/writing/index.html

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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29 Nov 2007 - 9:53am
Mark Schraad
2006

To be just a little more clear, the visualization of a use case is
basically a storyboard.

Mark

On Nov 29, 2007, at 9:40 AM, Mark Schraad wrote:

> Hi Alan,
>
> The first observation that I have is more in process than in
> designing. The web is becoming much more about activity, task and
> goals than about place. The standard wayfinding methods that were
> used in the initial days if IA are no longer enough. In fact a simple
> site diagram is not enough to accurately scope the complexity of a
> "2.0" site. We now work with dynamic containers that can, not only
> support a wide variety of data, but change interactions and
> functionality. This is much more than a simple template/data
> relationship. So, our sites and site map diagrams appear to have
> become simpler, but require some additional means of communicating
> the complexity - often a verbal presentation, but in some cases use
> case patterns with modal diagrams.
>
> Mark
>
>
>
>
> On Nov 29, 2007, at 9:29 AM, Alan Wexelblat wrote:
>
>> I'm looking for a good discussion on how the technologies that get
>> generally lumped under the "Web 2.0" label (which I hate, but never
>> mind) affect good established Web interaction design practices.
>>
>> I don't need someone telling me what Ajax is, or what the value of
>> including customers as participants is - I get all that. What I'm
>> looking for is concrete discussion of how I should (re)think
>> workflows, user goal achievement, and design patterns when I have a
>> technology like AJAX available to me.
>>
>> Any suggestions?
>>
>> --Alan
>>
>

29 Nov 2007 - 12:50pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Nov 29, 2007, at 6:40 AM, Mark Schraad wrote:

> The web is becoming much more about activity, task and
> goals than about place. The standard wayfinding methods that were
> used in the initial days if IA are no longer enough. In fact a simple
> site diagram is not enough to accurately scope the complexity of a
> "2.0" site. We now work with dynamic containers that can, not only
> support a wide variety of data, but change interactions and
> functionality. This is much more than a simple template/data
> relationship. So, our sites and site map diagrams appear to have
> become simpler, but require some additional means of communicating
> the complexity - often a verbal presentation, but in some cases use
> case patterns with modal diagrams.

Basically, it's all circling back to a lot of the design paradigms of
how traditional desktop client applications work. That's obviously
because once you get past the server/client single page request model
of the basic browser interaction, and back into refreshing only
specific regions of a page, you're basically falling back into
similar types of design problems of a desktop client that only
refreshes portions of the screen it needs to, and how the main code
loop works when anything can be refreshed at any moment if designed
and coded to do so. The web 2.0 stuff is still not quite the same as
desktop clients yet, but its getting close enough to make the design
concerns and constraints similar enough that there's not a whole lot
of need to reinvent the wheel for the basics.

So imho you're best bet is start pulling out a lot of the old
technical design books from before 1995.

However, a book that crosses all boundaries and is applicable
regardless of the technology is Paul Heckel's Teh Elements of
Friendly Software Design. It's easily the best book about software
design ever written, a particularly scary feat when you consider he
wrote it in 1982.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

29 Nov 2007 - 1:46pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Totally agree w/ Andrei that it is just like desktop.

I think both desktop and web app design are heading into new
directions though, which is around cinematic presentation of
interfaces especially around transitions. OSX and XP started down
this road at the OS level and many applications have taken this on
even further.

Sarah Allen of Laszlo Systems will be speaking as an invited speaker
for Interaction08 on this very topic of cinematic presentation:
http://interaction08.ixda.org/Sarah_Allen.htm

As to the book question, I do think that there is something specific
about technologies of AJAX vs. Flash vs. Silverlight vs. Java that
will effect optimal design choices, and in this regard to Andrei's
point, a book that is too generic such as the one you suggested will
not have all the answers that I hear Alan asking for.

I do know people (some on this list) are writing relevant books to
this topic, but they won't be out for quite some time.

People in NYC took a class on RIA Design that I taught through
SmartExperience.org. I'm hoping to repeat in Q1 or Q2 next year. I
think the Web App summit might be another place to look as well.

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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29 Nov 2007 - 2:27pm
.pauric
2006

Alan: "What I'm looking for is concrete discussion of how I should
(re)think workflows, user goal achievement, and design patterns when
I have a technology like AJAX available to me."

As we are increasingly less dependent on the constraints of the
underlying platform, i.e. cloud & desktop UI capabilities merging.
Maybe your question could be;

'how I should (re)think workflows, user goal achievement, and design
patterns' in a particular context? be that social, creative or
exploratory user modes. Other questions I see raised with the new
paradigm are

-How to address the need for an offline mode
-Privacy
-identity

anything else?

While Andrei is right on one hand that you can pick up a book from
'82 and it will be of great use. The context of use has changed so
much that there's an entirely different dimension to applications
nowadays. To a certain degree that book from '82 will raise as many
questions as it answers.

For example. Pick the version of MS Word before it caught
feature-itis. How would it stack up against Zoho (or insert favorite
online app) Similarly Outlook v. Gmail.

Just throwing this out there.. saying that RIA's can be like ye olde
.exe's is only going to address some of today's requirements.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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29 Nov 2007 - 2:44pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Nov 29, 2007, at 11:27 AM, pauric wrote:

> While Andrei is right on one hand that you can pick up a book from
> '82 and it will be of great use. The context of use has changed so
> much that there's an entirely different dimension to applications
> nowadays. To a certain degree that book from '82 will raise as many
> questions as it answers.

I'll have to disagree with you.

Have you read the book in question? When you do, I think it will make
my point clear. Think of it this way: Robert Bringhurst's book on
typography is highly relevant regardless of technology, time or
context. It's of a higher level that discusses the topic of
typography as core design principals. The same can be said for a book
like Designing for People by Henry Dreyfuss, A Designer's Art by Paul
Rand, Envisioning Information by Edward Tufte, Interaction of Color
by Josef Albers. All books that trascend the technology and context.

Paul Heckel's book is in this category for interface design. If you
haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

29 Nov 2007 - 3:17pm
.pauric
2006

Point taken Andrei and no I havent read that specific book. I'll add
to my ever increasing to-read list )o; thanks!

So, on that note, a tier down from that seminal book list, do you
have anything in the get'r'done section that might address Alan's
original question?

Thanks in advance -pauric

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 Nov 2007 - 2:54pm
Parth Upadhye
2007

Here's an interesting article. I know it focuses on Adobe's Flex
platform but the idea remains the same. Why? > Planning > Prototyping
> Implementation > Deployment.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/articles/planning_ria/planning_ria.pdf

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23083

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