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Designing Web Navigation by James Kalbach

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DESIGNING RICH WEB APPLICATIONS

The overall process for designing rich web applications looks similar to the framework outlined in Part II of this book:

  • Investigate user goals and business goals, and derive product requirements.

  • Structure the product logically to meet those goals and requirements.

  • Explore alternative design directions and capture these in screen layouts.

  • Design the final screen presentation, considering such things as font, color, and icons.

  • Evaluate and test designs as you go along.

Of course, specific implementation teams will have their own methods and phases, but they are usually variations of the above, even when working in fast iterations on agile projects. Design processes in general move from abstract to concrete; this progression is no different for rich web applications.

Many of the deliverables for creating rich web applications are similar to those mentioned in previous chapters. Personas and scenarios are important artifacts to define and communicate user needs. Site maps allow you to plan the structure of the application. Wireframes are good tools for identifying and working through different design directions. And screen designs, prototypes, and UI specifications document the final solution.

But compared to information-rich sites, where the content and its organization are main design concerns, rich web applications allow for transactions and dynamic displays of information. In creating rich web applications, you must therefore consider the behavior of the ...

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