[whatwg] What improves Web applications?

Nigel McFarlane nrm at kingtide.com.au
Fri Jun 11 02:33:33 PDT 2004

> However, having said that, making things better for users is good too:
> what do you think needs improving in terms of user experience with Web
> applications?

The point I keep coming back to with Web apps is that they
are a fundamentally different use-case to Web docs.

Web docs are "browsed" and "read", which can be re-phrased as
"lightly navigated". They are visited "ad-hoc" or casually.

Web apps are "tightly navigated" and subject to "data entry".
They are visited "repetitively" or routinely.

Of course, it's possible to build a DHTML page that's
tightly navigable without the user having to absorb a lot
of information about images and white areas. It's just not
done much. And it's not possible to navigate a Web app by
keyboard without the focus moving to the toolbar (irritating)
or else providing a pop-up window.

The web bolt-on technique of "breadcrumbing" is an example of
how HTML is encumbered by lack of fast navigation techniques.
There are no breadcrumbs in WinZip or in MYOB/GnuCash/QuickBooks
(for example), and no nedd for them.

I touched on this recently here:

I'm not saying that's a full analysis, but it does
contrast and compare some HTML tricks with XUL ones.

- Nigel.

Nigel McFarlane                                   nrm at kingtide.com.au
Services:                   Analysis, Programming, Writing, Education	
Expertise:            Software, Telecommunications, Internet, Physics
"Rapid Application Development with Mozilla" / www.nigelmcfarlane.com

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