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Flex Early Evaluation: Assessing Flex and Your Project Needs by Anthony Franco

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Why Are Rich Internet Applications Important?

The Importance of User Acceptance

According to Forrester Research, 70 to 80 percent of all IT projects fail. That may seem like an unrealistically large percentage, but consider this: the majority of these projects fail not because of technical issues, but due to a lack of user acceptance. Most projects are launched into production, but nobody uses them. (Insert your favorite “tree in the forest” analogy here.)

If most applications are never used, then what are the key elements of the ones that are? Figure 1 lists the top five elements of interactive web applications ranked by users in importance. Flex offers a compelling framework to build applications that deliver all five elements.

Ease of Use Is the Key to User Experience

Figure 1 illustrates an important point: people want easy interfaces more than anything else in an application, including content. Conversely, the number one reason people abandon applications is because they’re not easy to use, regardless of how cool and responsive the interface is or how much of the desired content is available. The key to a successful application is making it easy to use and learn.

A Forrester Report states that users rank Ease of Use higher than Content as the reason they prefer interactive features in their browsers

Figure 1. A Forrester Report states that users rank Ease of Use higher than Content as the reason they prefer interactive features in their browsers

It’s widely admitted that many existing web applications built with HTML, ...

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