Rich Internet application works more like a desktop application than a traditional web application like webmail or static html websites. Such interactive Internet applications are enabled by technologies like AJAX, Adobe Flex, Adobe Flash, JQuery, HTML5, SilverLight, JavaFX, OpenLaszlo and so on. These new technologies have closed the gap between online and offline experiences and are redefining the possibilities in a browser like never before. In addition Rich interactive applications provide many benefits over traditional desktop applications. RIA avoids the need of installing client applications. It enables multiple users to work collaboratively rather than single-user, single-machine software. Many online applications support drag and drop and various other full rich media capabilities. An online application also eliminates the need for regular updates and patching and it gives a competitive advantage with greater user satisfaction.
What is Rich User experience?
“Rich user experiences are typically a combination of GUI-style (Graphical User Interface) applications and multimedia content. The value of creating a web-based software that works and gives the user a similar experience to a computer-based software program is growing in the Web 2.0 paradigm.” Travis Steven
Example of User experience :
Pixlr is a perfect example to show rich user experience paradigm of Web 2.0 in action. It is a popular, free online photo editor that enables fixing, editing, adjusting, filtering of your images online without the fuss of creating an account or registering with the site. It allows you to get right in and start editing your photos just like you would do on a desktop application like Photoshop etc. Pixlr is not just one application rather it is an online application suite, which includes the following applications:
Let us look some of the best practices Pixlr.com implements :
- Combine the best of desktop & online experiences
Pixlr undoubtedly provides the highest user engagement, fast performance and rich interactivity. It closes the gap between online and offline experience. Using Pixlr on your browser is no different to working on your desktop application like Photoshop or other photo editing applications. In addition Pixlr being an online application provides platform independent, ubiquitous access for multiple users around the world.
- Usability and simplicity first
With Pixlr user does not need to create an account or register their details with the site. They can jump right in and start editing and fixing their photos or images as they like. And they can easily upload for editing and download the edited photos on to their local drive. Anyone who has used a desktop photo editing software like Photoshop would find Pixlr a piece of cake. And for those who haven’t they will find their way around without difficulty. It’s very simple and an excellent example of how a Web 2.0 application makes simplicity a strategic advantage.
- Match the technology usage to the requirements
- Search over structure
Pixlr being an online image editor tool does not require a search over content capability. However, Pixlr support, blog and documentation provides a search capability to enable users to quickly find help on some of the things they want to do in Pixlr editor.
- Deep, adaptive personalization
Pixlr application provides a rich user experience but does not dynamically learn from user’s behavior or anticipates needs or remembers preferences, or adapts as appropriate.
Overview of web technologies employed by Pixlr :
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At the end, I encourage you to have a look at each one of Pixlr applications to see how powerful they are. Also have a look at the Pixlr Blog to get a quick look into the endless possibilities that Pixlr provides to end-user both professionals and non-professionals with editing needs such as editing web images to be posted on social-media network like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Photobucket etc. Pixlr is also widely used by professionals all over the world for fixing images for news sites, blogs etc.