If you’re trying to learn how to develop a web-based application, what do you study? Great web-based applications, of course. As a student of web-based applications, you’ll want to examine the most successful designs and see how the designers solved difficult problems—challenges you might be facing yourself.
In this all-inclusive, 62-page report, Hagan and David Rivers, pioneering web application designers, explore the designs of seven of today's most complex, innovative, and thriving web applications. Each application solves hard problems in interesting ways. The designs you’ll encounter on this Web App Tour are guaranteed to give you some ideas when you start to approach your own web apps.
Seven Stops on Your Web Apps Tour
In this comprehensive report, Hagan and David give you a guided tour targeting seven successful web applications. You’ll investigate the purpose of each application, its target users, and how each application tackles its specific design issues. You’ll see:
- Salesforce.com: Founded in 1999, Salesforce.com changed the face of the enterprise software world by making a major suite of sales force automation tools available through the browser. They now have more than 550,000 subscribers at 27,100 companies worldwide, using their web-based application solutions. In their fiscal 2006 year, their application generated more than $280 million dollars in revenue. The success of Salesforce.com’s business is a testament to how effectiveness of their application’s design.
- WebOffice: WebOffice is trying to tackle a difficult problem of helping remote workers easily collaborate, to give them a virtual office. What makes WebOffice interesting is their approach to supplying a rich functionality while keeping the design straightforward. It’s a nice comparison to Saleforce.com’s design.
- Serenata Flowers: SerenataFlowers.com has stepped away from the mainstream, with a very interactive approach to displaying their products. By utilizing AJAX technology, they’ve created an innovative method to quickly winnow down the selection of products by price and color. This is an important tour stop for anyone who needs to deliver to their users a fast method for selecting an item out of a large list of possibilities.
- Backpack: Backpack is one of a series of interesting products from the folks at 37 Signals. What makes Backpack interesting is how they’ve managed to create a minimalist approach to design, by only revealing functionality when it’s necessary to see it. This technique could be very useful to anyone building an application requiring sophisticated data manipulation.
- Apple Configurators: Apple.com wants to sell you a computer. Yet, their computers have a complicated array of options. How does Apple ensure you get the computer you want? They’ve created a configuration tool that lets the customer specify the options they desire. Keeping the customer informed on how changes to the configuration affect the price and updating them on any conflicts is a complex process. Apple.com’s designers have done a nifty job of solving this challenge.
- SurveyMonkey: SurveyMonkey is one of the oldest applications on the web, providing a tool to create, manage, and analyze online surveys. It provides an interesting editing capability and some very effective project management solutions. SurveyMonkey has been around the block a few times and their experience shows in their design approach.
- Writely (now Google Docs): Writely turned the web-based application world on its head when it produced a browser-based word processor that mimicked much of the functionality and interface available in traditional desktop word processors, such as Microsoft Word. Of all the applications on our tour, this is the one that will be most interesting to those designers who are moving their applications from a desktop environment into a browser delivery platform.
Take this Tour with the Experts
Hagan and David Rivers have worked non-stop pioneering design techniques for creating stylish and useful applications and remained on the cutting edge of application design.
Hagan and David continue to push the envelope of web application design as partners at Two Rivers Consulting. Their clients include both well-established and emerging companies, as well as non-profit organizations. Hagan and David are the premier experts to turn to when you need help with your hardest web application design projects.
Did you know…
- Keeping applications simple benefits both designers and users. By limiting features, developers save time designing, building, and testing, and users save themselves the frustration of learning and understanding new commands.
- Dynamic filtering is fast, useful, and easy for users to understand. Users see the results of applying a filter in real-time and can make changes accordingly, leading to greater user satisfaction.
- Indicative filtering is a way for designers to reflect underlying data. By enabling and disabling certain filters, designs can convey to users how applying different filters affects the data and other filters.
- Dashboards are an extremely effective design element. Dashboards help users dive into large, complex applications and can be customized to present unique information to different user groups.
Buy both reports in the Designer’s Guide to Web Applications series
Jumpstart your web app design projects right away! Buy the Web Apps Tour 2007 report along with Hagan Rivers’ first report, Structure and Flows for only $74!
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