Mar 06 2007

Forrester report reviews RIAs and lists Experience Design focus areas

Published by at 18:50 under Wayback Archive

Forrester has published a Best Practices report on RIA User Experience which is a really good read for everyone involved in RIA-thinking. They list 15 user experience evaluation criteria and review several RIAs against these. What I liked about the report is that they reviewed both AJAX and Flex applications, but don’t fool the reader by going into technical comparisons… they nicely stick to the Experience Principles and it’s something that every business manager should read.

The most important statement is obvious – for those that have been playing the RIA game for a while – but there’s too many people in this world that still don’t realize this!: “But if designers aren’t careful, RIAs are as vulnerable to usability problems as their HTML-based counterparts. Because of their added complexity, they’re also subject to previously unknown problems“.
Or, as I once saw in a presentation by Mike Sundermeyer, VP of product design at Adobe:

Experience != nice design

Experience = Useful, usable & desirable

Experience != nice design” is something that we should shout out loud and more, at every meeting that we have with customers. Both business managers and highly technical people still have the habit to think that ‘the designer around the corner’ or – worse – the technology itself can solve all their experience challenges and that Experience can be last on the agenda. How wrong!

This article is a good short read for those people; Experience Design (upper D) is so much more then ‘design’ (lower d). It also includes elements like interaction and flow design, usability, ‘choreography’ (thanks Ilya Devers for introducing that term) and obviously a process to get all of that defined (Steven Webster and his team can talk you through all of this).

If you now think that technology doesn’t matter at all, then you are wrong too. First you should specify the best experience for your specific application – independent of the technology – and then try to define which technology allows you to best realize that experience. I’ve done this many, many times with our customers and I am very confident; If you pick the wrong technology it can become a limiting factor when trying to realize the experience. And yes, I am also extremely confident that Flex allows you to come the closest possible 😉

– Experience Matters

ps: If you wonder which online mortgage service of the SNS Bank they refer to, it’s Live@dvies (live@dvice), their usage of Acrobat Connect for live mortgage advice in a collaboration-enabled multi-user mortgage calculator (which I helped to roll out).

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Forrester report reviews RIAs and lists Experience Design focus areas”

  1. M.V. says:

    any chance to send me a copy of the Forrester report ? thanks.

  2. Waldo Smeets says:

    As you can see you’d have to buy it yourself online, I can’t share it.