Monday, March 22, 2010

New Trends in Site Maps

When was the last time you were excited about looking up a site map? Yes, I hear you - the answer is ten thousand years back or more. Site maps are boring, and we don't really expect much from them. In most cases, they are an apology for poorly designed site navigation. In many cases they are hopelessly out of date. I could go on. But here is something interesting. Poonam Agarwal's article titled Changing Design Trends for Site Maps does a great job of showcasing some of the trendiest site maps around. Worth a look.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adobe, Apple and the UX Platform Holy Grail

This is a guest post by Shivesh Vishwanathan.

As the search for the dominant mobile platform continues amongst players, including Apple and Adobe, it is helpful to bring out some analogies from the past. This stand-off has many similarities to the Microsoft/Win32 vs. Java dominance battle that was fought a decade ago. Apple is today's Microsoft with its proprietary OS and a strong iPhone developer community. Adobe is today's Java with its dreams of becoming a device-agnostic platform. "Singular experience, multiple devices", proclaims its Open Screen Project.

One problem that Adobe will have to tackle is that in today's world, the user interface paradigm can only go so far in providing great user experiences. What today's devices and platforms enable is much more than UI. They provide Interactive User Experience or IUX. IUX combines three types of interactivity, Interface, Sensor and Location, which in turn exploit unique platform capabilities such as direction, touch, orientation, location, movement, proximity and others. As you can see, user interface is just one piece of the puzzle that is the next generation application.

Apple not providing Adobe with access to iPhone is a war for platform supremacy, no doubt. What is also true is that the singular experience that Adobe wants will force the company to go way beyond UI. If history is any judge, Adobe has its task cut out. Creating a write-once-run-anywhere platform is the holy grail of software, but if Adobe treats it like a panacea, it could be in trouble.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Flash on iPad and Android - Not Quite the Time to Cheer Yet?

According to news coming out of the Adobe camp, Flash seems to be catching up on emerging platforms. Using a new packager coming in Flash CS5, it seems application developers will be able to export packages to iPhone and iPad platforms. There are many factors at play here - the growing adoption of new Apple devices and emergence of  HTML5, to name a few. Key question is, will Flash developers find it easy to deploy their Flash apps over Apple Appstore? That's a big gatekeeper there. In the meantime, news is out that Flash 10.1 is almost ready to be released, with support for Android. That should cheer up Flash developers. The release date however is 'later this year' - so, it is not quite the time to uncork champagne bottles yet.