I'm Michael Suodenjoki - a software engineer living in Kgs. Lyngby, north of Copenhagen, Denmark. This is my personal site containing my blog, photos, articles and main interests.

Updated 2011.01.23 15:37 +0100


RIA & the user experience

As any computer user know the best tools of your computer (traditionally called applications) are the ones that offers the best user experience (usability) - in the sense that they are easy to learn, easy to use and supports the goal/tasks that you want to accomplish.

Traditionally the desktop application has ruled by offering the best user experience. Since the beginning of 1990's with the advent and success of the Internet browser application the user experience of these have lacked behind. Instead of developing client/server set of applications software companies have used the browser as the basis for the (web) client applications  to manipulate centrally (server) stored "user" data. The main reasons for this has been the easy deployment (a central mantra for many organization's IT department) and the idea to access/manipulate the data from anywhere.

But the web applications have since 2002 gradually become more and more grown-up and have targeted the same user experience as offered by a traditional desktop application. These web applications are called Rich Internet Applications (RIA).

With RIA things are now becoming blurred. Scott Barnes at MS MossyBlog describes 3 levels of user experience offered by RIA (as seen from the perspective of Microsoft as far as I see it):

I'm more inclined to see in this way:

What is it for user experiences that we as users want and have loved throughout the years? It's all about how easy, fast, simple, elegant, etc. we can get, input,  manipulate and store-my data or share-our data/information. It is such areas as:

Another way of seeing this is in terms of data:

PS. This reminds me that we need a better clipboard Paste Command user experience. One that merges the Paste and the Paste Special command and use commonly used keyboard accelerators throughout Operating Systems and their applications.