Effective UI Development using Adobe Flex

Effective UI Development using Adobe Flex

In the recent years, UI developer's find themselves facing bigger challenges in the context of RIAs. With emergence of technologies like Adobe Flex, Silverlight etc., more power and responsibility is handed over to the UI developer/designer. This PPT gives you insight into how to tackle some of those challenges!

I have used liberally content, graphics, presentation styles etc. from good ppts posted here at slideshare.net.... I have included an acknowledgment slide towards the end. :)

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Uday Shankar

April 24, 2012
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Transcript

  1. Effective UI development using Adobe Flex Effective UI development using

    Adobe Flex Uday M. Shankar | April 2009 | Bangalore, India
  2. 13 April 2009 Effective UI Development using Adobe Flex 2

    Who am I? •Sr. UI Designer @ NOKIA •UI dev since 1999 •Flex since 2005 •From Trivandrum, Kerala HELLO. My name is… Uday M. Shankar
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    Disclaimer •All views expressed here-in are my own and do not reflect that they are endorsed by my employer •This presentation might contain stuff that you already know! ;) •Focusing on Flex 2 and 3… Not 4!
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    Ground rules •Stop me at any time for questions or discussion. •Let’s focus on “what”, not “why” and “how”.
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    User Experience •Beware of the “CHASM” •UX could be the BRIDGE across the chasm Norman’s Adoption Curve
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    User Interface Development •It’s all about facilitating the user to perform a specific task in a specific context in a fast and efficient manner by leveraging the power of technology and design. USER TASK CONTEXT
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    UI Development is NOT about making screens look better! UI Development is NOT about making screens look better!
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    User behavior •There is an intended behavior that we want to create, •We have no direct control over the user •But, via interaction design we have means to control the environment and to evaluate the resulting effects (U,E) Behavior is a function of the User & the Environment Lewin’s equation
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    What we want users to see
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    What users actually see
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    UI has evolved •Full page refresh replaced by small content updates •Hyperlinks & Submit buttons replaced by a full range of interactive components •Interaction is characterized by direct manipulation, lightweight actions & in-page actions. •People are now used to demanding more…
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    Why all this is even more important in the context of Adobe Flex? Why all this is even more important in the context of Adobe Flex?
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    Why Flex? •rich user experience •cross-platform, accessibility, NLS •Adobe AIR integration •Open source, standards-based framework •Thick-thin client •Works with other technologies in backend
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    Don’t get carried away •Many Flex designers have a tendency to get carried away with the cool effects that’s possible using flex. •Possibility = Usability •Cool = Usable •Users do not differentiate between the UI & Backend. •For Users UI is the application.
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    Front End keeps changing •HTML > DHTML > XUL > AJAX > Flex/Silverlight > ??? •Abstract the UI completely from the business layer. •Use XML to define text on screen. •Use well defined folder structures to separate the VIEW from the MODEL & the CONTROLLER
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    Follow standards •Do not break paradigms unnecessarily •Do not use a lot of colors on screen •Follow basic UCD & HCI principles while designing •Do not create Frankenstein components!
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    Leverage Flex CSS features •Use the skinning features of Flex to effectively apply CSS across your application •Runtime CSS is another Killer from Flex. •Check out scalenine.com
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    Vs.
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    Ted Patrick says… •Manage expectations using design. •Clients often judge progress based on UI design. •Clients want to see a steady progression of development. •Use a plain CSS skin for Flex and dial the chrome down to black and white. http://www.onflex.org/ted/2007/11/managing-ui-development-expectations.php
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    Get your X & Y right •The position of components on screen is IMPORTANT. •The dimensions of components on screen is IMPORTANT. •Drag & Drop is not always uber-cool! •Control to user is good as long as the system still has control.
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    Accessibility •Generally RIAs are difficult for people with certain disabilities •Accessibility is catching on. •Flex’s accessibility features are good & easy to implement.
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    Remember i18n & l10n •If your application is for global audience, think about i18n & l10n. •Think about it in the beginning. •Think about it while designing. •Think about it while skinning.
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    Use frameworks •Use frameworks – Cairngorm, PureMVC, •Try to adopt patterns as much as possible. Do not overdo it. •Check out http://ntt.cc for a good list of Flex design patterns & tutorials.
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    Always validate data •Tell the user NOW when things go wrong. •Use Flex validators to effective validate user input. •Create your own custom validators for custom needs.
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    Work smart, not hard •Create components and re-use them across application •Extend standard components & custom components wisely •Take advantage of what the platform does well. Avoid trying to do what the platform doesn’t. •Use free components available in the community
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    Be modular •Modules are SWF files which can be loaded dynamically •They cannot run independently •Applications can share the same module •Lazy Loading - ModuleLoader or ModuleManager.
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    Do not ‘over-engineer’ •Abstraction and perfection is good. But, don’t overdo it. •Pattern implementation are only as valuable as the problem they solve.
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    Breath life into your UIs •Animation for aesthetic reasons is good! •Use subtle transitions to add effects to your application •Provide instant feedback to user
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    Check it out •Flex.org / Labs.adobe.com •blog.flexexamples.com •ntt.cc •Tour de Flex – Use it & Contribute to it!
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    My ultimate metric for Ux •If the system was a person, how long would it take before you punch it in the nose!
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    Bad UI
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    Good UI
  33. Do not hesitate to push the red button Be ready

    to go back to the drawing board at any time.
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    PPTs that I ripped off from ;) •Molecular Inc. •ErgoSign •Dave Meeker – RoundArch •Garrett Dimon •And many other… Check out slideshare.net for many of these PPTs ;)
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    Enough Slides! Let’s look at something else! Enough Slides! Let’s look at something else!
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    Questions?
  37. udayms@gmail.com Twitter @udayms flexed.wordpress.com | udayms.wordpress.com Thank you Thank you