Rich vs Internet Applications – new media has arrived

I “designed” a small sample of the “experience” based on Ben Stucki’s “autoscroller”, Ely Greenfield’s “LightTable” and Sho’s “Drawer” (here is direct link : (it hides itself in the left side of the window, just move your mouse there)

  I think it pretty much shows the way modern interface evolved (for me) and also illustrates obvious issues with performance and bandwidth. The question about usability is going to dominate Web 2.0 apps, however, the faster the “Rich UI on the Web” evolves (the same way as GUI standards were introduced in ’94), the faster we can get out of the current state and provide new generation of components that are in foundation of user experience for any platform.

I would appreciate any comments on the way the control behaves and how it can be improved – I believe it will be released as a reference control implementation by Farata in a month or whenever the book comes out. In meanwhile, I will build a concept application measuring “user experience” into the real application and see if it can be used to “scale” UI.


I recently watched again “Ajax Power Panel” with great Adam Bosworth ( Being the real father of Ajax (1997) and few other technologies that have not been discovered quite yet, it is very interesting to see the way he approaches current state of the game. Do yourself a favor and watch his debate with David Temkin on richness vs usability.

Basically the argument centers between “productivity” vs “simplicity”. Both Adam and David are great in arguing “less is more” and “give them just enough rope” with applications supporting their concepts, they both avoided finding the common ground.

I think I see the problem in both guys arguments. It came in realization while watching my 7 years old son playing Sonic games – more specifically explaining it to people that never played and watching the response.

The application has to be 3 things:

1. has to provide “Basic” mode – simple enough for novice player

2. Provide focus point – the user has to be able to concentrate on the main task without being bothered with jazzy UI unrelated to main task. THE EXPERIENCE HAS TO BE RELATED TO ANY ONE SKILL THE USER MOST LIKELY TO HAVE

3. As the user progresses (based on response time and usage), more tools/options become available on-screen – and being removed into “history” if they are not used.

 Thank you,

Anatole Tartakovsky

P.S Special thanks to my wife for excellent pictures she shared for this component 😉

[tags]Flex, ActionScript, drawer, advanced, layout, fisheye, flickr, photo, viewer[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Rich vs Internet Applications – new media has arrived

  1. First of all,

    I congratulate you on intuitive usage of mouse gestures in UI. I believe, you were inspired by the idea of using of Gestural Navigation in Flash based UI first showcased to public by Adobe Consulting here:

    You did not share the code for your application ;), but from outside visitor point of view you are using Grid based layout in you UI, infamous
    combination of /mx:Repeater> , I am quessing here.

    I did not spot anywere in your UI that any elements are overlapping with each other.

  2. To ovelap elements please use negative padding attribute. However, this UI is not about things jumping out @ you but rather software doing things we do natuarally as something comes to our attention – focusing in and pushing out (while still in peripherial view, not overlapped) the rest, and providing extra details as we focus in.

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