Often discussed in conjunction with the Rich User Experience (RUE) is the Rich Internet Application (RIA). The term itself suggests a type of application that is connected to the Internet and facilitates a RUE. Some people (most notably, industry analyst Bola Rotibi) expand the RIA acronym as Rich Interactive Application, which is a far more descriptive term in our opinion.
Websites evolved as static pages (documents) served to those who requested them. The document sets were largely modeled on real-world artifacts such as sales brochures, help manuals, and order forms. However, the real-world documents themselves were only part of the full interaction (process) between the company and the customer/user; typically, a human working for the company provided additional input, contributing to the richness of the interaction concerning the document or artifact.
For example, if you walked into a travel agency in Northern Canada in January and started looking at brochures for Mexico and Hawaii, an observant employee might infer that you were sick of the Canadian winter and want to get some sun. She could then enhance your experience by asking questions to clarify this inference and offering you contextually valuable information (such as details on a sale on a one-week all-inclusive trip to the Mayan Riviera).
Many interactions with customers, suppliers, and partners are good candidates for migrating to electronic interactions ...