Website Tools and Applications with Flash

Report PDF cover image

Whether you’re creating web-based applications in Flash, Ajax, Silverlight or other technique, you should know how to make them usable. Most web-based interactive tools are designed for one-time use, which means their interaction must be transparent.

We conducted usability research to find out how well Flash and Rich Internet Applications (RIA) match people’s expectations.  The 46 applications we studied include:

  • E-commerce tools
  • Configurators
  • News and current events
  • Maps and location finders
  • E-learning
  • Entertainment
  • Productivity applications

This 225-page report presents 117 design tips for creating interactive web-based applications, including accessibility considerations. Discussions and 170 screenshots supplement the findings.

Note: We focus on the user experience, not implementation technologies, so most of the guidelines contained in this report are valid today regardless of the technology applied.

Topics Covered

  • Understand people’s reactions to web-based tools and watch users interact with them
  • Web-based applications as ephemeral applications
  • Object-oriented GUI design
  • Checklist of 117 guidelines for creating usable website applications and tools
    • Workflow
    • Content
    • Navigation
    • Feedback
  • Attracting visitors
    • Making applications compelling
    • Quality assurance
  • Object-oriented control
    • Drag and drop
    • Creating objects
    • Resizing objects
    • Rotating objects
  • Presentation
    • Motion
    • Sound
    • Colors and fonts
    • Scrolling
    • Graphics and photographs
  • Implementation
    • Browsers
    • Installation and loading
    • Saving and printing
    • Hovering, clicking, and tabbing
  • User assistance
    • Help
    • Instructions
    • Tutorials
    • Error recovery
  • Application specifics
    • Maps
    • Registration
    • International considerations
  • Accessibility
  • Methodology

Research Method

The information in these reports is based on usability studies conducted with general audiences and people who use assistive technologies.

The studies took place in the United States, Germany, and Japan.

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8.3 MB PDF

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