Making a web application feel like a native application

12 Feb 2010 - 10:09am
4 years ago
7 replies
2725 reads
Miles Lennon
2010

For my latest project, I want to make the web application look and
feel like a native one. I don't want the user to feel as though he
or she is navigating webpages; rather, I'd like them to feel as
though they just opened up iTunes, for example. I have both aesthetic
and strategic reasons for this.

I have some ideas in my head of example of web applications that have
accomplished this (OMGPOP, Drupal Gardens, Gmail, Typekit), but I'd
like to hear from you if you have any suggestions.

No recommendation is a bad one as long as it's reasonable.

Comments

13 Feb 2010 - 10:35am
Shekman
2008

Hi Miles,
Although I haven't try it myself, but have a look at the Cappuccino
framework http://cappuccino.org/

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15 Feb 2010 - 11:44am
jrrogan
2005

Hi Miles,

I've worked with EXT and Silverlight, both of which can make very rich
client experiences, across a browser based system.

If you make the browser "chromeless", and limit/customize right click it's
very difficult to tell you're ina browser, besides the title bar, (unless of
course you get rid of this too).

Note when I've designed for very rich interactions, cross browser
compatibility can be a monster, as is browser version to version. If you
can control the browser & version, you'll be much farther ahead.

OK best of luck, if you find a better/new framework, definitely tell me!

Ciao!

Rich Rogan

--
Joseph Rich Rogan
President UX/UI Inc.
http://www.jrrogan.com

On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 2:09 AM, Miles Lennon <mol2103 at gmail.com> wrote:

> For my latest project, I want to make the web application look and
> feel like a native one. I don't want the user to feel as though he
> or she is navigating webpages; rather, I'd like them to feel as
> though they just opened up iTunes, for example. I have both aesthetic
> and strategic reasons for this.
>
> I have some ideas in my head of example of web applications that have
> accomplished this (OMGPOP, Drupal Gardens, Gmail, Typekit), but I'd
> like to hear from you if you have any suggestions.
>
> No recommendation is a bad one as long as it's reasonable.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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>

--
Joseph Rich Rogan
President UX/UI Inc.
http://www.jrrogan.com

15 Feb 2010 - 11:59am
AlokJain
2006

Miles,

Looking into sproutcore javascript framework. It applies many of the
same concepts of a desktop app environment. http://sproutcore.com/

All new web products by apple use sproutecore - me.com, iwork.com -
and I think they moved the store also to sproutcore recently.

We had done our survey product using EXTjs first and it's a great
library but does not embrace newer concepts like mvc as well as
sproutcore does. We have now moved to, and it's much much better.

Here are some products using it-
http://wiki.sproutcore.com/Projects-Using-SproutCore

Alok Jain (AJ)
Product manager - http://insightify.com

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Feb 2010 - 6:35pm
Juan David Casas
2009

Well i don´t know if it helps, but i would look in to pages with music
playing applications, like grooveshark.com for example. They always
handle the content and the interface with a look and usability that
makes you think your not on a web page, and has a great content
manipulation level from the user.

hope it helps.

Juan David Casas
Bogotá, Colombia

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15 Apr 2010 - 7:25am
Anonymous

I suggest you to go with Microsoft Silverlight which is most acceptable technology for rich web application development.

Other than Silverlight, You can also think about other rich internet technologies including Adobe Air, Flex, and WPF.

15 Apr 2010 - 12:26pm
Karl Herler
2010

I suggest, like Shekman, that you go for the Cappuccino framework (http://cappuccino.org) if you (or your developers) have time and energy to learn Objective-j. The UI components built in to Cappucino are really nice and easy to work with. Another advantage with Cappuccino (as well as with Sproutcore which also is a option, used by Apple for the mobile.me suite, that Alok recommended) is that they run native javascript and html, which means your end users wont have to use plug-ins and they will always at least render on mobile devices.

You might also want to look into Google Web Toolkit (GWT, code.google.com/webtoolkit/) it is (obviously) backed by google and is very rich but a bit large and hard to grasp at first.

 

I do not agree with the guys that recommend using Silverlight though because it relies on the silverlight plug-in, which means your app will not run on all operating system or on all browsers (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverlight#Operating_systems_and_web_browsers) and you would force your end user to download a plug-in.

If you opt for a plug-in based framework I would go for the Flex/Flash framework simply because it is supported on more platforms and has a greater overall adoption and you can compile your web application to a desktop application using Adobe Air (Silverlight might offer the same functionality, and Cappuccino does, with a bit of work).

I'm not quite sure if that's what you asked for, but at least I added some to the previous replies.. I hope :)

Kal

 

15 Apr 2010 - 9:47am
zakiwarfel
2004

Are you looking for design principles to make webapps look-and-feel more like desktop applications? Or are you looking for technologies to make webapps look-and-feel more like desktop applications? Two very different questions that will get two very different sets of answers. 

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