RIA stands for Rich Internet Applications. RIAs have features and functionalities which are seen in the conventional desktop applications. While maintaining the advantages of web applications, RIAs make use of rich graphics and streaming media scenes. The designing part of RIAs is very important that makes use of web infrastructure combined with client-side application to carry out the presentation.
A typical RIA is comprised of three layers; the presentation layer, business layer, and data layer. The presentation layer is the layer that contains UI and the presentation logic components.
RIAs can be simple or complex and their design and implementation varies accordingly. However, in the presentation layer, which contains UI, it is important to have good architectural design. Interfaces can be simple to overlay the back end the businesses services or can be complex that can perform most processes themselves and communicate back end information.
Let us talk about some general design considerations followed while designing for UI. These considerations will help you when designing RIA according to your requirements and perform efficiently when expected.
When designing a RIA, consider the audience. Consider designing RIA only when your vital audience makes use of browser that supports RIAs.
Consider the complexity of your UI requirements since RIA implementations work best only when they use single screen for all operations. They find it difficult to work with multipage UI. Though they can be extended to multiple screens, it requires extra code and screen flow consideration. With such screens, users should be able to navigate easily or can pause and return to a particular point easily and quickly, instead of starting the whole process over and again.
If there are multi-page UIs, you should use deep linking methods. In addition, you need to use carefully the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the history list and the browser’s back and forward.
Since RIAs are meant for providing rich user experience in whatever way they can, there should be more sophistication and more user interactivity.
With the help of RIA, client and server computers can communicate without any irrelevant page refresh. Web applications can support different user interactivity with just single screen. Users can interact in real time as information can be seen on same page on which it was requested.
Improved user interface on RIAs not only increased convenience in the user interactivity but also made it more interesting. UI designers make use of animation, sounds and graphics for improving the user interface. There is large range of options available for the visual interface design. Designers can use more graphic elements as these graphic elements available in RIAs use less network bandwidth.
Using Rich Internet applications, designers and developers can now offer Web site users better User Interface and more functionality that is needed for application interfaces. It helps them create web applications that are more user-friendly. It also helps in increasing ROI. Users become more productive and hence dropout rates go down that result in increased number of completed transaction.