Web-app guides

1 Feb 2006 - 12:57am
8 years ago
9 replies
829 reads
David Hutchful
2005

Hello,

Can any of you point me to resources about building web-based
applications. I am in the middle of one and I have several more coming
up and I am wondering if there are certain guidelines available for
developing the interface of these tools.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

David.

ps: I am wondering if any one on this list lives in the West Michigan area?

Comments

1 Feb 2006 - 3:36am
milan
2005

Hi David,

some links for you:

http://www-3.ibm.com/ibm/easy
IBM - Web design guidelines

http://www.hp.com/hpweb
HP Web standards (requires Login)

sapdesignguild.org/web_guidelines
SAP Interaction Design Guide for Internet Application Components

www.webstyleguide.com
Web Style Guide (Patrick J. Lynch, Sarah Horton)

Regards
Milan
-- | || ||||| | | ||
information systems
www.guenther.cx

Original Message:
-----------------
From: David Hutchful dhutchful at gmail.com
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 00:57:51 -0500
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Web-app guides

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Hello,

Can any of you point me to resources about building web-based
applications. I am in the middle of one and I have several more coming
up and I am wondering if there are certain guidelines available for
developing the interface of these tools.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

David.

ps: I am wondering if any one on this list lives in the West Michigan area?
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1 Feb 2006 - 6:35am
Dave Malouf
2005

When it comes to web-apps, you should concentrate on the app part more than
the web part. Seriously. All you are doing is building software and while
there are definitely "web" patterns you'll need to consider in the mix, if
this is new to you, you'll hang onto most of those quite naturally. However,
if you have indeed been focused on information systems for the web for most
of your career and are now making the cross-over into applications, it is
really time to look at the literature of your kin over in
software-development.

Dirk Knemeyer put together a list of literature on this topic. Don't let the
hype/buzz use of the phrase "Web 2.0" fool ya. It is just about any web-app,
so I suggest that people take a look at it.

http://gotomedia.com/gotoreport/january2006/news_0106_software.html

I'll make a couple of additions:

About Face 2.0 - Cooper/Reimann
Brining Design into Software - Winograd (ed.)

As for guidelines, look at guidelines:
I know that both Apple and Microsoft publish the guidelines for their
operating systems and applications. Microsoft has even began publishing
guidelines for developing Vista-based applications.

I like these types of guidelines a lot. They are a treasure trove of
information to help you make informed decisions, especially in the web-app
world where, "Make it like Windows" and "Can't it work like Outlook" are
common usability testing results. Familiarity goes a long (and cheap) way to
increasing usability.

Enjoy!

-- dave

1 Feb 2006 - 7:14am
nuritps
2010

Here are a few I collected.

Although web-applications are definitely applications and you do need
knowledge in application design, I also think that someone who designed
windows application will need to learn stuff before going into web app
design. There are of course many similarities but still a few important
differences you need to take into account. I find that looking at good web
app (it is not easy to find those, and usually it requires registration
etc.) is always helpful, most of the guideline are rather basic, so in order
to find more advanced information you must go through articles and... This
list :)

Good luck!

http://www.usableweb.com/
http://webdesign.about.com/
http://www.webreview.com/
http://www.webword.com/
http://www.maccaws.org/kit/
http://psychology.wichita.edu/optimalweb/

Nurit

: : nurit.peres at ams-sys.com
: : www.ams-sys.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David
Hutchful
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 7:58 AM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Web-app guides

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Hello,

Can any of you point me to resources about building web-based applications.
I am in the middle of one and I have several more coming up and I am
wondering if there are certain guidelines available for developing the
interface of these tools.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

David.

ps: I am wondering if any one on this list lives in the West Michigan area?
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines ............
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http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
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Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
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1 Feb 2006 - 7:40am
jbellis
2005

David,
1) Baxley's book, though it doesn't win everyone over, is unquestionably an
great taxonomy of that specific topic. Although it has plenty of examples,
its strongest theme is the overall mental framework in which your decisions
live. For instance, you'll instantly distinguish form pages from list (?)
pages and make decisions accordingly.

Making the Web Work: Designing Effective Web Applications (Paperback)
by Bob Baxley

2) I started a list of public apps a while ago but haven't added much to it.
Just 3 so far:
http://www.usabilityinstitute.com/genericUI/htm/applications.htm

www.jackBellis.com, www.UsabilityInstitute.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Hutchful" <dhutchful at gmail.com>
> Can any of you point me to resources about building web-based
> applications. I am in the middle of one and I have several more coming
> up and I am wondering if there are certain guidelines available for
> developing the interface of these tools.

1 Feb 2006 - 9:54am
Jim Griffin
2005

I agree with Dave that Microsft and Apple have put out some useful
guidelines. Looking at them sometimes solves a problem to the "how do
you propose we do that..." conundrum. I'll post the URL's if you'd
like to take a look. Note that Microsoft's guidelines are downloaded
as an executable, while Apple's are available in both html and PDF:

Apple:
http://tinyurl.com/vgge

Microsoft:
http://tinyurl.com/7onq6

- jG

On 2/1/06, David Heller <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> > As for guidelines, look at guidelines:
> I know that both Apple and Microsoft publish the guidelines for their
> operating systems and applications. Microsoft has even began publishing
> guidelines for developing Vista-based applications.
>
>
> Enjoy!
>
> -- dave

1 Feb 2006 - 8:27pm
Juan Lanus
2005

Hi David,

A "web application" is an "application", it doesn't matter if it's web
or not. So it should be handled as an application, right?

Well, application designers and developers have not reached a common
ground on how to do it, and also it depends a lot on the application
size: many of the artifacts used in software design are there in order
to let a lot of people communicate, and are not needed in small apps
(as your question suggests in "... several more coming ...").

Dave´s answer is valuable. Only you don't seem to have enough time to
read all that and become a software engineer (again "... several more
coming ...").
So I'll try to guide-line in this rather long posting.
------------------------------------------------------------------
The basic stance is "what is this application for?". Software builders
(I'm one) have made applications for computers during so many years,
some designers have build applications for the eyes, it's all wrong.
An application is for the user to fulfill a goal, period. Look at both
sides of the equation: "user" and "goal".

The "user" part tells that the app is not fot the owner or the system
but for the user. Unless you have a means to enforce users to use the
application (like the tax offices, for example) then your application
must be useful to the user and then and only then indirectly useful
for the owner. This is "user centered".
One way to do it wrong is to have meetings where stakeholders say "WE
need this and that", implement it, and then do user testing to try to
find out why isn't it working. For example it's not "WE need to sell
..." but "does the user want to buy?".

The "goal" part of the aforementioned charter is your compass. You
must find out what the users want to do, and simply implement that.
Simply said, tricky to do.

The first task is to build a list of user goals. In a web application,
a public one, there is a problem in that you don't talk with the users
as is usual in biz applications, so you need to build synthetic users
aka "personas".
There must be goals of a size so that they can be met in a single
session, rather detailed goals. You might want to state less detailed
goals at first, and then decompose into smaller ones.
Once the detailed goals are there then you decompose into atomic
interactions: every step of a user's session against your application
is listed, what the user does and how the system replies.
For example a user interacting with an ATM, a typical example. The
user's goal is to get 50 dollars in 10 or 20 dollar bills.
The steps are 1- user introduces card, 2- ATM asks for PIN, 3- user
enters PIN 4- ATM validates PIN ...
Note that the last step, the PIN validation, can have different
outcomes. Don't worry: go ahead with the success outcome, and later
analyze the possible variations.
Do this for every possible different interaction set the users will
need to run against your system and you are done. You have the goals
list.

Now you can start user testing. Make all your personas operate each of
the use cases you built and see then fail or go. The teenager and the
granny. Correct some steps, rebuild some cases.

Give them to the developers and tell'en you don't care it'a a web or a
desktop or a cellphone or whatever: this is how the thing has to work.

If you are very lucky you might have a working prototype AFTER all
this, "in white" i.e. "not yet dressed". It works as required but
there is no color, no fancy images, no "design" yet. Only when it's
working fine you start toying with the appearance.

Lemme tell you that all what's done before applying "design" is also
design, "interaction design". It's of paramount importance for the
application to be succesful, much more than fancy colors and fonts.
And also, if not done righ at first, it's much more expensive to fix.

Imagine you are building a road. Any road you drove has a visible part
and a much more important part, a more basic one, that in Spanish is
known as "stabilized base".
The antique Romans knew it, that's what they built such long-lasting
routes. Like this one:
http://traianus.rediris.es/problems_imgs/p25.htm
In the picture the base can be observed, all those rocks.
When the base is ready then and only then you start thinking on
setting signals, painting stripes, setting mile-stones and the like.

In software design it works the same: there is a "basic" design and a
"surface" design.
What I've outlined is the most commonly accepted design procedure for
the "basic" design, a methodology known as "use cases". Easy and
effective. Not at all "geeky".
A really good book on the subject is
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201702258
It's the undisputed reference. It's sort of a guideline, as you asked
at first, because it not only makes the case for use-cases but it's
also a detailed how-to guide.
There is a sample of the book here:
http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:uMHdFjD-tPEJ:alistair.cockburn.us/crystal/books/weuc/weuc0002extract.pdf+writing+effective+use+cases&hl=en&gl=ar&ct=clnk&cd=2&client=firefox-a

The greatest advantage of use-cases is that they can be shared among
all participants no matter they are techies or not. Some participanta
are the programmers, the use-cases can be fed to them as detailed
specifications.

One word of caution: there is another kind of use-cases, made in
drawing with ellipses and straw figures: please don't!
The real, good, use-cases are textual documents anybody can read,
comment, and write.

Any questions? Well that's it. Good luck!
--
Juan Lanus
TECNOSOL
Argentina

1 Feb 2006 - 12:26pm
Elger, Nicole
2006

Another book:
Web Application Design Handbook: Best Practices for Web-Based Software
(Susan Fowler and Victor Stanwick, 2004).

Milan, is there a way to gain access to the HP standards? I tried to
register, but apparently I need an HP contact person and other info.

Thanks.
= Nicole

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
milan at guenther.cx
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 12:37 AM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Web-app guides

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]

Hi David,

some links for you:

http://www-3.ibm.com/ibm/easy
IBM - Web design guidelines

http://www.hp.com/hpweb
HP Web standards (requires Login)

sapdesignguild.org/web_guidelines
SAP Interaction Design Guide for Internet Application Components

www.webstyleguide.com
Web Style Guide (Patrick J. Lynch, Sarah Horton)

Regards
Milan
-- | || ||||| | | ||
information systems
www.guenther.cx

Original Message:
-----------------
From: David Hutchful dhutchful at gmail.com
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 00:57:51 -0500
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Web-app guides

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]

Hello,

Can any of you point me to resources about building web-based
applications. I am in the middle of one and I have several more coming
up and I am wondering if there are certain guidelines available for
developing the interface of these tools.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks.

David.

ps: I am wondering if any one on this list lives in the West Michigan
area?
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
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Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------
mail2web - Check your email from the web at http://mail2web.com/ .

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines
............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help ..................
http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ...
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Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home .......................
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2 Feb 2006 - 5:17am
Shrikant
2006

Hi David,

You can even have a look at Oracle interface guidelines
http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/blaf/specs/index.html

Thanks and Regards,

Shrikant Ekbote

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On
> Behalf Of David Hutchful
> Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:28 AM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Web-app guides
>
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
>
> Hello,
>
> Can any of you point me to resources about building
> web-based applications. I am in the middle of one and I have
> several more coming up and I am wondering if there are
> certain guidelines available for developing the interface of
> these tools.
>
> Any help will be appreciated.
>
> Thanks.
>
> David.
>
> ps: I am wondering if any one on this list lives in the West
> Michigan area?
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

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2 Feb 2006 - 11:22pm
David Hutchful
2005

Phew! Thanks guys for your suggestions. I have some reading to do now.

On 2/2/06, Shrikant <sekbote at mahindrabt.com> wrote:
>
> Hi David,
>
> You can even have a look at Oracle interface guidelines
> http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/blaf/specs/index.html
>
> Thanks and Regards,
>
> Shrikant Ekbote
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On
> > Behalf Of David Hutchful
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 11:28 AM
> > To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Web-app guides
> >
> >
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> > quoted material.]
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Can any of you point me to resources about building
> > web-based applications. I am in the middle of one and I have
> > several more coming up and I am wondering if there are
> > certain guidelines available for developing the interface of
> > these tools.
> >
> > Any help will be appreciated.
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> > David.
> >
> > ps: I am wondering if any one on this list lives in the West
> > Michigan area?
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> *********************************************************
> Disclaimer:
>
> The contents of this E-mail (including the contents of the enclosure(s) or attachment(s) if any) are privileged and confidential material of MBT and should not be disclosed to, used by or copied in any manner by anyone other than the intended addressee(s). In case you are not the desired addressee, you should delete this message and/or re-direct it to the sender. The views expressed in this E-mail message (including the enclosure(s) or attachment(s) if any) are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of MBT.
>
> This e-mail message including attachment/(s), if any, is believed to be free of any virus. However, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that it is virus free and MBT is not responsible for any loss or damage arising in any way from its use
>
> *********************************************************
>

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