Today’s manager of application development must juggle managing traditional systems and day to day needs of the business with the challenges of delivering their systems via various interfaces or channels to their users and customers.
It’s a challenge that has evolved over time:
- in the early 90’s, providing interactive screens to transaction processing systems, (with the added bonus of standardizing them, incorporating SAA/CUA design), was a mandate for many RPG and COBOL developers in the AS/400 / IBM i world
- then came client/server and the need to extend the back end to a Windows GUI interface, perhaps integrated with desktop applications
- by the late 90’s/early 2000’s, web browser front ends to enterprise systems became popular for intranet, as well as, extranet, business-to-business, and business-to-consumer ecommerce systems
- today, the demand for mobile and tablet interfaces is now a key concern, and continues to grow and evolve
The result? Many companies have different areas of their systems developed with different technologies (such as RPG, COBOL, Synon, Windows .net, HTML5, PHP, and more) – and ALL must continue to thrive and evolve. To encompass all of the current capabilities extends beyond just the user interface and belongs more in the realm of user experience and deployment to multiple channels. Considerations for managing a range of user experiences today can include:
- screen sizes / real estate
- navigation and on-screen controls
- use of keyboards, mice, browser controls, touchscreens and voice controls
- and, perhaps most important: whatever comes next
A key design principle for delivering enterprise applications via these various channels or interfaces is Responsive Design – can you code something once and have the interface dynamically work within various form factors?
This and other topics are discussed in this interview of Nick Hampson, (owner of Cydis Ltd., looksoftare Product Evangelist, and UX Design Expert), by Paul Tuohy from IBM Systems Magazine