Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

AJAX, Rich Internet Apps & Agile Usability

Expand Messages
  • Ross, Darrell
    The topic of building Rich Internet Apps using AJAX is very HOT these days. For those of you who have gone gaga over the eye-candy at GoogleMaps or the slick
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 25, 2005
    • 0 Attachment

      The topic of building Rich Internet Apps using AJAX is very HOT these days.  For those of you who have gone gaga over the eye-candy at GoogleMaps or the slick DHTML features in GMail, AJAX techniques are powering portions of these sites’ functionality.  (for those who need a primer on AJAX, go to http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php)

       

      The term Rich Internet Apps has been around for a few years – Macromedia has been pushing it for some time.  However, one factor giving RIA its current buzz is the realization that one can mesh AJAX with more robust, N-tiered apps.  So, instead of the kludgy round-trip method of sending a request all the way to the server, AJAX allows us to embed more business logic on the client side.    

       

      There are many technological/usability challenges in having the client handle more of the heavy lifting.  For example, you can basically build your entire app with just one screen – as you mouse over different portions of the screen, you will evoke smaller javascript/DHTML functions to appear on your screen.  (for a slick example – check out the reservations screen for www.broodmoor.com – yes, its written in Flash, but the same functionality can be done in AJAX).  Another usability challenge is the lack of a bookmark or URL to save (see http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2005/07/25.html#a1275 for more discussion on this point)

       

      I am interested to hear the group’s thoughts on how Usability and UI design will be impacted by RIA.  Will we need to modify any of our Agile development approaches?   

       

      Darrell Ross

      ClearNova

      dross@...

       

       

    • Adrian Howard
      On 25 Jul 2005, at 19:44, Ross, Darrell wrote: [snip] ... [snip] Hmm... I d say it s the reverse. The business logic is staying on the server side with a more
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        On 25 Jul 2005, at 19:44, Ross, Darrell wrote:

        [snip]

        > So, instead of the kludgy round-trip method of sending a request
        > all the way to the server, AJAX allows us to embed more business
        > logic on the client side.
        >
        [snip]

        Hmm... I'd say it's the reverse. The business logic is staying on the
        server side with a more complex JavaScript UI talking to it with
        XMLHTTPRequests.

        [snip]

        > I am interested to hear the group's thoughts on how Usability and UI
        > design will be impacted by RIA. Will we need to modify any of our
        > Agile
        > development approaches?
        >
        [snip]

        The bad news is that we have to go back to the bad old days of having
        N different platform/browser/version combinations to test the
        functionality of a web application, which can be a bit of a pain :-)

        The nice thing about JavaScript vs things like Flash is that
        JavaScript is much more amenable to testing. Unlike Flash I have a
        choice of unit testing frameworks and open access to the code at
        runtime if I need to do some exploratory testing.

        As for usability - there are certainly specific issues that Ajax
        brings to the fore. The back button you already mentioned.
        Accessibility is another big issue that gets much harder. However I
        don't think there is anything about Ajax based apps that makes me
        want to change my basic approach to usability/UCD.

        Adrian
      • Jade Ohlhauser
        I agree with Adrian on all points We use some AJAX functionality in our application, but we don t put what I consider business logic on the client. The AJAX
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          I agree with Adrian on all points
           
          We use some AJAX functionality in our application, but we don't put what I consider "business logic" on the client. The AJAX functionality doesn't change our tier structure, it just means we can create a better user experience through less page reloading.
           
          I don't think it's made a significant impact on our development or agility.
           
          The potential for usability issues are certainly there, but that's nothing new. It's just a different rope for people to hang themselves with (but maybe you could say this one comes with instructions on tying a noose).
           
          Jade Ohlhauser
          Product Manager
          RPM Software                          
          www.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727
           


          From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Adrian Howard
          Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:03 AM
          To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [agile-usability] AJAX, Rich Internet Apps & Agile Usability

          On 25 Jul 2005, at 19:44, Ross, Darrell wrote:

          [snip]

          > So, instead of the kludgy round-trip method of
          sending a request 
          > all the way to the server, AJAX allows us to
          embed more business 
          > logic on the client
          side.
          >
          [snip]

          Hmm... I'd say it's the reverse. The business logic is staying on the 
          server side with a more complex JavaScript UI talking to it with 
          XMLHTTPRequests.

          [snip]

          > I am
          interested to hear the group's thoughts on how Usability and UI
          > design
          will be impacted by RIA.  Will we need to modify any of our 
          >
          Agile
          > development approaches?
          >
          [snip]

          The bad news is that we have to go back to the bad old days of having 
          N different platform/browser/version combinations to test the 
          functionality of a  web application, which can be a bit of a pain :-)

          The nice thing about JavaScript vs things like Flash is that 
          JavaScript is much more amenable to testing. Unlike Flash I have a 
          choice of unit testing frameworks and open access to the code at 
          runtime if I need to do some exploratory testing.

          As for usability - there are certainly specific issues that Ajax 
          brings to the fore. The back button you already mentioned. 
          Accessibility is another big issue that gets much harder. However I 
          don't think there is anything about Ajax based apps that makes me 
          want to change my basic approach to usability/UCD.

          Adrian


        • David Vydra
          AJAX is just old-fashioned client-server but runs in a browser. Thus, it is quite reasonable to run business logic on the client if it positively impacts
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            AJAX is just old-fashioned client-server but runs in a browser. Thus, it
            is quite reasonable to run business logic on the client if it positively
            impacts usability.

            -dv
            http://www.richclients.org

            Jade Ohlhauser wrote:

            > I agree with Adrian on all points
            >
            > We use some AJAX functionality in our application, but we don't put
            > what I consider "business logic" on the client. The AJAX functionality
            > doesn't change our tier structure, it just means we can create a
            > better user experience through less page reloading.
            >
            > I don't think it's made a significant impact on our development or
            > agility.
            >
            > The potential for usability issues are certainly there, but that's
            > nothing new. It's just a different rope for people to hang themselves
            > with (but maybe you could say this one comes with instructions on
            > tying a noose).
            >
            > Jade Ohlhauser
            > Product Manager
            > _*/RPM/* *Software *_
            > www.rpmsoftware.com <http://www.rpmsoftware.com/> 403-265-6727
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            > *From:* agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Adrian Howard
            > *Sent:* Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:03 AM
            > *To:* agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
            > *Subject:* Re: [agile-usability] AJAX, Rich Internet Apps & Agile
            > Usability
            >
            > On 25 Jul 2005, at 19:44, Ross, Darrell wrote:
            >
            > [snip]
            >
            > > So, instead of the kludgy round-trip method of sending a request
            > > all the way to the server, AJAX allows us to embed more business
            > > logic on the client side.
            > >
            > [snip]
            >
            > Hmm... I'd say it's the reverse. The business logic is staying on the
            > server side with a more complex JavaScript UI talking to it with
            > XMLHTTPRequests.
            >
            > [snip]
            >
            > > I am interested to hear the group's thoughts on how Usability and UI
            > > design will be impacted by RIA. Will we need to modify any of our
            > > Agile
            > > development approaches?
            > >
            > [snip]
            >
            > The bad news is that we have to go back to the bad old days of having
            > N different platform/browser/version combinations to test the
            > functionality of a web application, which can be a bit of a pain :-)
            >
            > The nice thing about JavaScript vs things like Flash is that
            > JavaScript is much more amenable to testing. Unlike Flash I have a
            > choice of unit testing frameworks and open access to the code at
            > runtime if I need to do some exploratory testing.
            >
            > As for usability - there are certainly specific issues that Ajax
            > brings to the fore. The back button you already mentioned.
            > Accessibility is another big issue that gets much harder. However I
            > don't think there is anything about Ajax based apps that makes me
            > want to change my basic approach to usability/UCD.
            >
            > Adrian
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > SPONSORED LINKS
            > Agile software development
            > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Agile+software+development&w1=Agile+software+development&w2=Usability+testing&c=2&s=55&.sig=Ak48fB17Wjd4Aa4oxynZCA>
            > Usability testing
            > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Usability+testing&w1=Agile+software+development&w2=Usability+testing&c=2&s=55&.sig=n7jF2cGEfeD_vUrhGSoxOw>
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
            >
            > * Visit your group "agile-usability
            > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability>" on the web.
            >
            > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > <mailto:agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
            >
            > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
            > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >
          • Jade Ohlhauser
            Yes, it s always been possible to put business logic on the client with JavaScript. AJAX doesn t change that one way or another. We choose not to put what I
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Yes, it's always been possible to put business logic on the client with JavaScript. AJAX doesn't change that one way or another.
               
              We choose not to put what I consider to be business logic on the client because of security issues (i.e. don't trust the client in a web app). The closest to business logic we put on the client is some validation and formatting, but any validation done because of business rule constraints on the client is duplicated on the server.
               
              Thanks for the post dv, http://www.richclients.org looks interesting. I'm going to subscribe to that feed. Right now I'm trying to sort through the overwhelming selection of AJAX frameworks for well written code to base on. Currently our DHTML layer is 4 years worth of many "one off" type solutions (for a lack of a better term) and when we refactor and unify it soon I hope to use a solid 3rd party code base. Complicating things a bit further is Microsoft. We use .NET and Microsoft has promised better DHTML/AJAX (or just nice HTML for that matter) with the new ASP.NET. Looking at the beta so far I'm not impressed.
               
              Jade Ohlhauser
              Product Manager
              RPM Software                          
              www.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727
               


              From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Vydra
              Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:21 AM
              To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [agile-usability] AJAX, Rich Internet Apps & Agile Usability

              AJAX is just old-fashioned client-server but runs in a browser. Thus, it
              is quite reasonable to run business logic on the client if it positively
              impacts usability.

              -dv
              http://www.richclients.org

              Jade Ohlhauser wrote:

              > I agree with Adrian on all points

              > We use some AJAX functionality in our application, but we don't put
              > what I consider "business logic" on the client. The AJAX functionality
              > doesn't change our tier structure, it just means we can create a
              > better user experience through less page reloading.

              > I don't think it's made a significant impact on our development or
              > agility.

              > The potential for usability issues are
              certainly there, but that's
              > nothing new. It's just a different rope for
              people to hang themselves
              > with (but maybe you could say this one comes
              with instructions on
              > tying a noose).

              > Jade
              Ohlhauser
              > Product Manager
              > _*/RPM/*
              *Software                          *_
              > www.rpmsoftware.com <
              href="http://www.rpmsoftware.com/">http://www.rpmsoftware.com/> 403-265-6727

              >
              >
              ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              *From:* agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              >
              [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Adrian Howard
              >
              *Sent:* Tuesday, July 26, 2005 4:03 AM
              > *To:*
              agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
              > *Subject:* Re: [agile-usability] AJAX,
              Rich Internet Apps & Agile
              > Usability
              >
              > On 25 Jul
              2005, at 19:44, Ross, Darrell wrote:
              >
              > [snip]
              >
              > >
              So, instead of the kludgy round-trip method of sending a request
              > >
              all the way to the server, AJAX allows us to embed more business
              > >
              logic on the client side.
              > >
              > [snip]
              >
              > Hmm... I'd
              say it's the reverse. The business logic is staying on the
              > server side
              with a more complex JavaScript UI talking to it with
              >
              XMLHTTPRequests.
              >
              > [snip]
              >
              > > I am interested to
              hear the group's thoughts on how Usability and UI
              > > design will be
              impacted by RIA.  Will we need to modify any of our
              > >
              Agile
              > > development approaches?
              > >
              >
              [snip]
              >
              > The bad news is that we have to go back to the bad old
              days of having
              > N different platform/browser/version combinations to
              test the
              > functionality of a  web application, which can be a bit
              of a pain :-)
              >
              > The nice thing about JavaScript vs things like
              Flash is that
              > JavaScript is much more amenable to testing. Unlike Flash
              I have a
              > choice of unit testing frameworks and open access to the code
              at
              > runtime if I need to do some exploratory testing.
              >
              > As
              for usability - there are certainly specific issues that Ajax
              > brings to
              the fore. The back button you already mentioned.
              > Accessibility is
              another big issue that gets much harder. However I
              > don't think there is
              anything about Ajax based apps that makes me
              > want to change my basic
              approach to usability/UCD.
              >
              >
              Adrian
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > SPONSORED LINKS
              > Agile
              software development
              > <
              href="http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Agile+software+development&w1=Agile+software+development&w2=Usability+testing&c=2&s=55&.sig=Ak48fB17Wjd4Aa4oxynZCA">http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Agile+software+development&w1=Agile+software+development&w2=Usability+testing&c=2&s=55&.sig=Ak48fB17Wjd4Aa4oxynZCA>
              >       Usability testing
              > <
              href="http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Usability+testing&w1=Agile+software+development&w2=Usability+testing&c=2&s=55&.sig=n7jF2cGEfeD_vUrhGSoxOw">http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Usability+testing&w1=Agile+software+development&w2=Usability+testing&c=2&s=55&.sig=n7jF2cGEfeD_vUrhGSoxOw>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              >
              >     *  Visit your
              group "agile-usability
              >       <
              href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agile-usability>" on the web.
              >       
              >     *  To unsubscribe from this group, send an
              email to:
              >       
              agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >      
              <mailto:agile-usability-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
              >       
              >     *  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
              the Yahoo! Terms of
              >       Service <
              href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
              >
              >
              >
              ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >

            • grahamastles
              ... What tools do you use to test Javascript? Does it really do a good job? Something in the JUnit family?
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Howard <adrianh@q...>
                wrote:
                > On 25 Jul 2005, at 19:44, Ross, Darrell wrote:
                >
                > [snip]
                >
                > The nice thing about JavaScript vs things like Flash is that
                > JavaScript is much more amenable to testing. Unlike Flash I have a
                > choice of unit testing frameworks and open access to the code at
                > runtime if I need to do some exploratory testing.
                >

                What tools do you use to test Javascript? Does it really do a good
                job? Something in the JUnit family?
              • Jeff Patton
                ... I ve used JSUnit to test JavaScript with great success. The last project I was on, we had hundreds of JSUnit tests, along with a very full JavaScript
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 26, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "grahamastles" <gastles@p...>
                  wrote:
                  > What tools do you use to test Javascript? Does it really do a good
                  > job? Something in the JUnit family?

                  I've used JSUnit to test JavaScript with great success. The last
                  project I was on, we had hundreds of JSUnit tests, along with a very
                  full JavaScript object model. As much as it shocks and pains me to
                  say this, JavaScript, when well tested, isn't a half bad language.

                  http://sourceforge.net/projects/jsunit/

                  cheers,

                  -Jeff
                • Adrian Howard
                  On 26 Jul 2005, at 21:20, grahamastles wrote: [snip] ... [snip] I ve used JSUnit[1] successfully in the past, but the next time I need to do some JS testing
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 27, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On 26 Jul 2005, at 21:20, grahamastles wrote:
                    [snip]
                    > What tools do you use to test Javascript? Does it really do a good
                    > job? Something in the JUnit family?
                    [snip]

                    I've used JSUnit[1] successfully in the past, but the next time I
                    need to do some JS testing I'm probably going to have a serious play
                    with Test.Simple[2].

                    Take a look at JSAN[3] for some examples of using Test.Simple to run
                    JS unit tests in your browser before you download the libraries. Just
                    pick a distribution and click on the "tests" link. For example
                    Test.Builder's own test suite lives at:

                    http://www.openjsan.org/src/t/th/theory/Test.Simple-0.11/tests/
                    index.html

                    Cheers,

                    Adrian

                    [1] <http://sourceforge.net/projects/jsunit/>,
                    [2] <http://www.openjsan.org/doc/t/th/theory/Test/Simple/0.11/
                    index.html>
                    [3] <www.openjsan.org>
                  • John Kordyback
                    It is relatively easy to put JSUnit tests into an automated build, although the reporting of results is more difficult when compared to JUnit or NUnit. I
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 27, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      It is relatively easy to put JSUnit tests into an automated build, although the reporting of results is more difficult when compared to JUnit or NUnit. I thinks AJAX works well since it is the Controller for  MVC - and simple business logic can be seperated into testable *.js files for testing.

                      I thinks it is important technology since our customers are becoming accustomed to this behaviour and are expecting it as part of their user experience. Secondly, it is fun. I never underestimate a new technology when it is fun.

                      /qb

                      On 7/26/05, Jeff Patton <jpatton@...> wrote:
                      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "grahamastles" <gastles@p...>
                      wrote:
                      > What tools do you use to test Javascript?  Does it really do a good
                      > job?   Something in the JUnit family?

                      I've used JSUnit to test JavaScript with great success.  The last
                      project I was on, we had hundreds of JSUnit tests, along with a very
                      full JavaScript object model.  As much as it shocks and pains me to
                      say this, JavaScript, when well tested, isn't a half bad language.

                      http://sourceforge.net/projects/jsunit/

                      cheers,

                      -Jeff





                      YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS




                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.