Back in September, Adobe released a new section to the Flex Developer Center, called FIG or Flex Interface Guide. This is an excellent resource for anyone involved in the Interaction Design (IxD) or User Experience (Ux) of RIAs or any developers who want to make more user focussed apps. There are several articles still in draft about designing for Flex. One of the upcoming articles that will be particularly of interest and relevance to the new possibilities of designing RIAs is the use of motion, as a tool to guide users.
In addition to these articles Rob and the team will be releasing a set of Flex Interface guideleines and introducing new components to use in Flex development such as the three already released: Callouts, Paged Lists & Pan and Zoom. (I will be covering these in more detail in future posts.)
So far Rob has written 4 of the 8 intended articles and the first 4 are an excellent and I recommended taking the time to read them. They provide a good overview of the technology for IxD professionals covering some of the new possibilities like using motion to guide user interaction. For developers these resources will hopefully introduce the benefits of thinking about users and give plenty to think about as well as introduce interaction design methods to improving user experience.
Rob also provides a well selected list of further reading in which he highlights Alan Cooper’s About Face 2, at the top of the list (About Face 3 has recently been released). Which shows he is an advocate of Goal Driven Design when designing Flex apps. However he does note that it is not necessary to be following an upfront process such as Goal-Driven Design to benefit from his articles and his advise is suitable to any development process.
As the documents are in draft Rob has set up a forum on the Adobe site for input and feedback from the community. So far been a disappointing response with only 12 posts (and I believe I have posted two of those!) So please get involved and please give Rob feedback on his excellent work and commitment to providing better user experiences for users of Flex apps.