Building Rich Internet Applications – RIAs takes a lot more skills than building a standard website.
With the constant advances in technology, the possibilities of creating powerful applications expands every day. This is wonderful for the developers, but not necessarily always fun for the users. If the user interface design development is not following, the user might have more power, but a lot harder to use applications and in the end need will spend more energy and be more frustrated using the applications.
Thus, as usual, with greater power, comes greater responsibility.
There is a need to better understand and improve the way we design our Rich Internet Applications. I found this great article, that describes Rich Internet Application Screen Design and gives a good idea of some of the challenges when designing the user interface of a RIA.
But more fundamentally speaking, we need to change our mindset and start thinking about generalizing the user interface design. One idea is to create User Interface design patterns, where we can formally analyze specific user interface parts and measure their efficiency and ease of use. Sites with user interface design patterns are being born every day and here is a good example of that: ui-patterns – a collection of user interface design patterns. Very interesting indeed.