Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Required reading for RIA designers and product owners

With the holiday season usually comes less time and more work. Funny how that works. In the little spare time I have left, I stumbled upon what I think is a must read for anyone working on RIAs. I found Magic Ink - Information Software and the Graphical Interface to be full of useful information for both designers and product owners. One of the biggest challenges for UI designers, especially living in the Agile world, is convincing the rest of the team that slowing down and really "designing" the interface is valuable and in fact necessary for success.

The author makes numerous references to the work of Edward Tufte but also extends some of the concepts of Tufte by illustrating how and why the techniques he suggests can work in an interactive medium such as RIAs.

While the RIA technology described is not Flex or Silverlight, I think those two technologies are likely to be the most common platform for RIA development. So while reading Magic Ink, don't get hung up on the fact that the applications mentioned are HTML or desktop widgets. The concepts apply to any and all RIA platforms.

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