Five Myths of RIA

Laurie Gray from OneSpring (an iRise Strategic Partner) shared her thoughts on Rich Internet Applications or RIA during the monthly Catalyze webcast yesterday.

She started out with the RIA “elevator pitch” from Tony MacDonell who writes the InsideRIA blog:

Rich Internet Applications are software programs that are designed to run above the level of the operating system, and are universally available to you, where ever you may be when you need to use them. You can run them on any computer, in any context. Run them in the web browser, on the desktop, or even on mobile devices as well. Rich Internet Applications offer powerful user interfaces, that allow you to work or play in ways that are familiar, intuitive, and exciting. They leverage the best of the web, without sacrificing the power of the desktop.”

She also shared the origins of the term Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) which first appeared in an essay by Jesse James Garrett from adaptive path in February 2005.

According to Laurie, the five myths of RIA are:

  1. RIAs provide the perfect vehicle for splashy sites
    • they are also amazing tools for complex, transactional, data-driven sites too
  2. RIAs bring people-centered design to information workspaces
    • most users will not care how the app was built, but if they have a bad experience, they won’t come back
  3. If you’ve designed websites, you can design RIAs
    • that’s not necessarily true
  4. It’s just like our software, of course our users will understand it
    • think again — there are lots of ways to do things
  5. RIAs provide a better user experience than traditional HTML
    • it depends — and sometimes it can be a worse experience

Laurie wrapped up with a demo of her favorite RIA websites and a list of valuable resources before answering a spirited round of questions.

The presentation slides embedded below and webcast recording are available from the Catalyze Community. Some of the questions from the webcast are also answered in Laurie’s Catalyze blog:

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