I want to ask a straightforward question – how is user experience important for building a successful enterprise application (such as enterprise PLM)? I think I hear your voices – yes, yes, yes… So, I think we need to go and shop for some good technologies that will help us to improve the user experience of the systems we develop. I see that the time of boring web UIs and multiple screens with data, trees and grids are over. So, I have come to RIA (Rich Internet Application) technologies that allow us to develop cool user experience for our enterprise data management mustangs.
I was inspired to read Flashy GUIs versus Longterm Business Benefits blog article discussing how RIA may or may not be important for enterprise applications. So, my question was – are we ready to pay a premium price for user experience that will remind us of iPhone, Xbox, PlayStations and RIA enabled websites? My conclusion is yes. I believe that today’s business PLM definitely needs something that allows us to get a higher acceptance of end users in the enterprise.
So, if you are ready, here are some choices on your way to enhance the user experience of products.
Adobe AIR platform provides a framework to develop a rich user experience. The important thing is that you can build an AIR-based application based on PDF templates and without affecting your current product. Microsoft Silver Light sounds like a visible new competitor in this space. There are some other technologies and products, but in general, my feeling is that – yes, RIA is moving forward and PLM needs to get aboard this train.
Below you can find some more examples of RIA apps:
Adobe showcase for branded rich Internet applications (RIAs)- NASDAQ and eBay.