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Next up for me: Web 2.0 as a UI Paradigm.  It’s starting very slowly; the speaker is just running down the common UI features of Web 2.0 apps/sites, and the pros and cons of DHTML/JS/Flash/Java/etc.  Not interesting at all. 

Per speaker, Rich Internet Applications tends to mean:

  1. Customizable interface
  2. Things download in chunks for perceived increase in performance
  3. Instant feedback, minimize reloads
  4. Tons of HTML and JS
  5. Not crawlable by search engines
  6. No standard UI components yet
  7. No standard solution to “Back Button” problem

So here’s the first interesting point: with Web 2.0, the focus of UI is on tasks, not items.  So task-focused UIs “let you perform ancillary or housekeeping tasks without taking focus away from your core task”.  E.g., logging in/out is not a core task, it’s a necessary evil.  Other non-core tasks might include: changing account settings, spell check, reorder items, flagging items, etc.  All non-core tasks should not cause major changes to the UI (no full reloads, etc.).  Makes sense to me…

An example is lala.com when you add a song to your list.  Another: Trulia.com.  Signup is in a DHTML popup; the page you were on doesn’t change or disappear at all.  Reddit’s login box.  Trulia.com, adding a neighborhood to a comparison.

Examples to the contrary: Amazon, refresh this page link.  Reddit,  login page.  Yahoo! Answers, ask a question and it dumps you to login screen.

Luckily for me in this one, I found a power outlet in the session room!  I shared it with a fellow attendee and we basked in the glory of our flowing electrons.  Ahhh…