Thursday, 21 February 2008

Adobe “Thermo” -> RIA

At Adobe Max Day 2, in Chicago 2007, a new application called “Thermo” was introduced.

Some key features of “Thermo”:

  • Use drawing tools to create original graphics, wireframe an application design, or manipulate artwork imported from Adobe Creative Suite tools.
  • Turn artwork from Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Fireworks directly into functional components that use the original artwork as a “skin”.
  • Define and wire up interactive behavior, such as what to do when a user clicks on something, without having to write code.
  • Easily design UIs that work with dynamic data, such as a list of contacts or product information, without having access to the actual data source. Design-time sample data can be used as a realistic placeholder when laying out an application, testing interactivity, and choreographing motion. (Adobe labs)

According to many experts, blogs and forums the Adobe’s new application will satisfy the designers and developers, who want to transform simple designs into interactive user experience, saving time and effort. This product allows designers to create engaging Flash/Flex experiences. As Aral Balkan, who attended the Adobe MAX Day in Chicago in 2007, comments: “Thermo is a new tool that lets designers create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) in a very visual manner. You can convert artwork into working components in a single click.

The new application will be fully launched this year (2008), but no official date has been announced yet. “Thermo” is considered as a designer-focused application for creating Flex applications. (Sean Corfield)

I look forward to testing the new application and seeing how interactive wireframes can be created. There are some considerations on whether the tool can automatically apply updates to the interface, once some changes have been done. Nevertheless, this is an answer to be given after “Thermo” is launched. However, the introduction of “Thermo” in Chicago caught the attention of the UX design community so there is a positive anticipation of the upcoming design tool.

You can watch on You Tube (or at the bottom of the page!) two videos (PART I and PART II) from the MAX Day in Chicago to get a taste of "Thermo"!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Information Architect position

Recently, as I was searching on the internet for Information Architecture books, I came across with: “The elements of user experience” by Jesse James Garrett. Apart from the interesting table of contents I also read the book’s introduction and a part of it describes my current situation; as I am the first information architect hired recently into the department of User Experience of a marketing and web development agency called “Persona Creative. Jesse James Garrett mentions in his introduction that: In late 1999, I became the first information architect hired into a long-established Web design consultancy. In many ways, I was responsible for defining my position and educating people both about what I did, and how it fit in with what they did. Initially, they were perhaps cautious and a bit wary, but soon they came to recognize that I was there to make their jobs easier, not harder, and that his presence did not mean their authority was diminished.” (Jesse James Garrett, 2002)

So I look forward, through the projects I am involved in, to showing my colleagues (software developers, web designers) how my work is connected with theirs :).