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:
- Customizable interface
- Things download in chunks for perceived increase in performance
- Instant feedback, minimize reloads
- Tons of HTML and JS
- Not crawlable by search engines
- No standard UI components yet
- 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…