Rich user experiences

Have you ever noticed that there are always more website users who only read information than website users who leave messages or comments? In the Web 2.0 application era, the key point of competitive advantage depends on how much website allows the users to contribute more information. This week, I am going to talk about the Web 2.0 pattern, “rich user experiences”.

The meaning of rich user experience is to make web applications are more pervasive, dynamic and interactive. Unlike traditional web applications which consisted of many boundaries to control the system, for example, button, check boxes, drop box or form fields, rich user experience provides a better extensive controls that increase better interactions and user-friendly with website interface. AJAX is one of the key technologies which facilitate this type of experience.  AJAX is a collection of technologies that creates a rich user experience by integrating different technologies together. In other words, AJAX combines common standards out of many applications such as CSS, XML, and XHTML and bring them all together into a final content by using JavaScript. Maybe you are wondering that AJAX has similar functionalities to Flash. The biggest difference between AJAX and Flash is that AJAX doesn’t need a browser plug-in.

A good example which can clear show the pattern, “rich user experience”, is “realestate.com.au”. The purpose of this website is to provide users with functions to search for information about available house for sale or rent with an easy-to use-interface. “Realestate.com.au” offers a wide range features that assist users to find information which they require quickly through some simple procedures. For instance, users can select a state from an interactive Australian map that the website provides to first narrow down the scope and then enter more details to specify their search. It also allowed users interact directly with the page elements with quick response, for example, when users edit an

element of their search, only part of page is updated, instead of the entire page. Furthermore, the website also provides a map function using Google map API to allow the users to see where the property is and what is around it.

 

 

References

http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=5

http://www.tstiles.com/dms/web20/richuser.html

http://okcancel.com/archives/article/2005/09/why-ajax-matters-now.html

http://lib.tkk.fi/Dipl/2009/urn100111.pdf

http://www.realestate.com.au/rent

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. reeced
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 23:21:09

    The landing page for searching for rentals and places to buy on realestate.com is pretty good in terms of rich user experience but as soon as you get into the search it isn’t. Getting to the listing results requires a full page refresh and then if you update any of the criteria of your search you need another page refresh.

    Reply

    • Wei-Hsan Chien
      Apr 06, 2012 @ 12:52:06

      Hi, Reeced, thank you for your comment. You are correct on the full page loading when searching for houses, it is definitely a possible improvement space for real estate.com. I know that the master search engine google have implement right away generating of search results. However, it is very hard to compare a small business site like real estate.com to google…~XD!! But we can look forward to the improvement realestate.com will have in the future, since I reckon this website is here to stay.

      Reply

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