Archive for November, 2008

AIR 1.5, SQlite now encrypted.

I have a long time searching for security on SQLite database, as far as I know encryption was a commercial extension for SQLite and not sure whether Adobe will implement it for AIR SQlite engine. It really a great news now Adobe AIR 1.5 support encrypted SQLite database. Thanks, Adobe AIR team.

Using encryption with SQL databases

Introducing Adobe AIR 1.5

Usability is so Important, Please

I got a hard time to realize a team to develop a large RIA desktop application, not only myself should understand how important usability is, but also other team members even juniors and bosses.

New Feature Requests

We all understand application development change very often. It happens for every team, bosses will add new features never discussed before and marked as ‘very important’. Problem is, for a desktop application, new features usually means redesign at least some parts of UI, also can break user experience if no enough usability discussion and clearly understand what user will expect (which very often is different with the new feature defined), not only designer but also developer have to change a lot. For example, add some new feature without enough space on UI, new behavior in one component which UI should update other relative components at the same time. Not only we need time for new features, bad definition can result arguments between team members and boss, which actually conflict between what boss expect and what user expect in real application.

Designer and Usability

Designers has a good feeling of usability, problem is designers not the person produce the application, and usually designers can design single UI but not the running UI, so it quite often developers have to feedback some design problems. For me I will try to discuss thoroughly before write code, understand what designers want and what will happen in real application that can affect user experiences. Discussion of user experiences between designer and developer should be as early as possible.

Also, designer have to test application from time to time, to find usability problem early and try to fix it.

Junior Developer and Usability

Juniors usually need time to learn and get improved, thinking about usability also hard for them. Problem is user experience is about whole application not parts which experienced developers working on, without fix major usability problems, application can never give anybody good user experiences. Try to ask new developers to catch up more tasks than what they can without fix enough usability problem, is a disaster for the whole application sadly.