RIA’s are taking a stronghold in the world of Web 2.0. Through technologies like Ajax and Flash, RIAs overcome traditional page-based Web browser constraints to deliver more interactive and responsive Web functionality. RIAs beget rich user experiences when they help users:
Sort large data sets
Enables users to dynamically sort through thousands of information using interactive tools, whereby they can narrow the list by criteria that are most important to them – a task that would take countless attempts if done via traditional forms, which don’t provide insight into how the input parameters affect the results.
Control multi-step process
One of the biggest limitations of page-based HTML functionality is that multi-step processes require linear task flows. But, by replacing traditional HTML forms with a Flash application, users get all of the information and functionality that is required in one screen. Users can select multiple options in any order – all happening without a single-page reload.
Rather than forcing users to download a separate image for each different view, an in-page Flash application gives visitors a 360-degree view of products that they can easily pivot with left and right arrow controls. When they click on a color swatch underneath the product, the image immediately updates with the chosen color without loading an entirely new page. If users want a closer look at the details, they just need to mouse over the image to see a magnified version that temporarily replaces the product description.
Get information that’s hidden or out of view
Traditional online mapping sites require full page refreshes to re-center a map. But with RIAs retailers can present their location maps of their outlets, stores inside layout, whereby users can pore over large expanses of land by dragging the image across the screen as one would slide a map across a table. Clicking on any link within the layout displays the additional information about the section of the store – like square footage, how many products displayed, brand names – in the context of the retailer’s store.
Use familiar controls and features
Many retail sites today offer customers the flexibility of sorting their carts, managing items and previewing them dynamically. RIAs provide features like dynamic sorting of user requested data, drag-and-drop and pane resizing.