For the past few months, we have been doing some work with Rich Internet Applications (read Jon’s blog to learn about more about our experience with RIA’s. I am personally convinced that RIA’s are here to stay. Among other things, working on the design of such systems is such a pleasure after the ridiculous hoops and jumps one has to go through in building a decent web app UI in HTML. I am curious as to why this issue is not being discussed more in the CHI community. Not finding a good talk or panel on the topic, I decided to organize one.
If you are in the Bay Area, come by to Parc, Palo Alto on August 10th for a panel I am chairing: Reading the technology tea-leaves: Is a Rich Internet Application in your future?
Panelists are Mike Sundermeyer from Macromedia, David Temkin from Laszlo Systems (replacing Sarah Allen), and Jim Hobart from Classic Sys. Watch out for more panelist announcement! I will be chairing the panel.
We have another panelist! Someone from Oddpost (recently acquired by Yahoo) will be participating in the panel to talk about their RIA approach.
I plan to raise several issues related to the technology, design, usability and business need for RIA’s. For example, the different technology platforms: Flex, Laszlo, the DHTML apporach (a la Outpost and Gmail), the upcoming Longhorn (XAML) approach, and other platforms such as Nexaweb, XUL etc.
Secondly, what do RIA’s mean for users who have become accustomed to the page-centric HTML model. Are such applications confusing? What about issues related to the back button, amd a “submit” or “save” button? What are the usability issues that arise with such applications?
Richness of visual design. As someone passionate about interface design, I welcome it. But do users really care when its a visually rich interface? What are design strategies for such applications?
And the dreaded ROI (return on investment) question. Is there a business need for such systems? Have customers who moved to an RIA seen ROI for their systems?
Can you think of any more issues we should discuss during the panel? Please list them as comments here or send a trackback.