Flow in Application Design

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Flow in Application Design

Post by marielle » Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:29 am

This is a technique that is presented as useful for designing web 2.0 applications.

Well, the fuss about web 2.0 is that it allows you to design highly responsive web applications, with some elements within a page that can be refreshed independently from the other elements within the page.

The thing is that these features have always characterized the type of applications you can produce with desktop development environments like Revolution, RealBasic, etc.

So, any technique that is presented as improving the quality of web 2.0 application has the potential to improve the design and quality of revolution applications.

Flow Diagramming is one of them.

What is it? This is about encouraging you to think in terms of flow: How the information changes, how responsive it is, how feedback is given to the user about the changes that are taking place

A good resource on this is:

Flow In Web Design (short explanation with links to other resources)

Flow in Web Design (pdf, 37 pages)

The difficulty then is about finding ways to represent how the information within the application changes as a consequence of user actions or script running.

For this purpose, the visual vocabulary proposed by Jesse Garrett (yep, the guy who published the paper that made Ajax popular)

A visual vocabulary for describing information architecture and interaction design, along with a Quick Reference

With practical examples of how this vocabulary can be used to represent the internal flow within an application:


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Post by Garrett » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:50 pm

I have used flow charts in projects before. They do come in very very
handy and can also be used as a sort of progress chart as well, checking
off a point on the chart when that point has been completed.

So if you don't ever use any of the other suggested resources, such as the
check lists, at least work up a good flow chart at minimum.


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