Rich User Experiences – Flickr

28 03 2010

A Rich User Experience (RUE) website is one of the architecture of participation in a web 2.0 site. It is basically a combination of GUI-style (Graphical User Interface) applications and multimedia content. It is a way of creating web-based software that works similar to a computer-based software program which is being developed dramatically in the World Wide Web. It allows users like us to not only retrieve information but, own the data on a website and exercise control over that particular application. In addition, applications are able to encourage users to add value and contribute ideas in order to improve it. Some of the characteristics of RUE include user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability. It provides an open and free environment where collective intelligence can be harnessed. Some of these applications are used in websites such as, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Blogspot, Flickr, and many social networking websites.

One of the key components of making RUE website is by using AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) which is a collection of web development techniques. As an example, mentioned in earlier posts, Flickr is a web application with an easy-to-use interface and social interaction with integrated sharing capabilities. It is an application used widely by bloggers to share photos in an interactive way (e.g. slideshow with next & previous control). The most significant and unique component of Flickr is the tagging capabilities. It is able to allow users to search photos that are tagged according to user’s topical search. Flicker was also able to develop their tagging capability into something more called tag clouds.

web 2.0 map

“Tag clouds are weighted lists that describe the content and use of a tag by the signification through an increased font size depending on the popularity.”

With all this capabilities, the tagging and folksonomy makes Flickr one of the most central principles of web 2.0 in its value for user-driven added value and for community-based interaction.

Furthermore, some of the advantages of RUE websites are:-
• It does not require regular updates and patches.
• It is accessible through a networked computer.
• It is a platform dependant and,
• Requires low development costs.

However, the disadvantages are:-
• The browsers “back” functionality and bookmarking may not work.
• It is not indexed by search engines such as google, yahoo and more.
• People who use screen readers and other specialist browsers may not be able to access the content.
• Will not normally work if JavaScript is disabled.
• Even more possibilities for errors, browser incompatibility or outdated flash.

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    6 responses

    28 03 2010
    Samuel Meddows

    Great Blog. After studying web design for a year I can say one the biggest and most important aspect is accessibility. In some cases even the law set a ruling of how accessible a site is to certain disabilities. I often wonder how Emerging 2.0 apps are shaping up to this.


    31 03 2010

    Thanks for your comment. Isn’t it a question for all web 2.0 applications. It’s very important for developers to not just concentrate on the features but, they must also consider the security and the accessibility side of it.

    31 03 2010

    Very interesting read Amiel. The disadvantages you’ve outlined really fit in with some of the problems developers face while creating Rich Applications. I know that not being able to hit the back button is really annoying!

    2 04 2010

    Shrawan thanks for your comment. Yeah i realized that as well. Imagine if you’re working on a flash application and suddenly you accidentally press the “backspace” button on your keyboard. You will most probably lose all your work. This site will give you an insight of the pros and cons regarding the use of rich user application –,id,828,nodeid,147.html

    5 04 2010

    Hi Amiel, very informative blog!

    In your disadvantages, the mention of compatability….do you believe the way cloud computing is coming along, as well as web applications, these compatability issues will diminish?

    22 04 2010

    Yes, it will definitely improve the compatibility for most devices however it also depends on the clients side. For instance, in order to run most of the web applications out there it’s a requirement to have the latest flash/java running, otherwise you will not get the full functionality of the app or it might not even work.

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