Great news from eWeek that IBM is taking a long, hard look at enhancing the user experience of its products. According to the article, IBM is placing a huge emphasis on a better experience in Lotus and across its entire product line:
"We're reacting to market realities," [Mike Rhodin, General Manager of IBM's Lotus Business Unit] said. "It's a need." Rhodin noted that with the changing work force, the user experience of a product can mean the difference between a company having to invest heavily in training or not.
There are huge economic benefits to adopting an RIA strategy. A great user experience isn't the private property of Rich Internet Applications, but RIAs have helped jumpstart the trend because they make it so easy to create great experiences. They take the restrictions off of traditional HTML and browser applications so that the interface gurus can come in and have the experience implemented correctly.
By going with an RIA solution you'll make internal users to your system more productive. You'll spend less time training new people to use the system and ideally you will retain customers. The exciting thing for me is that it's becoming the norm for companies to have great, RIA experiences in their customer facing applications. But the space is still new enough that you can stand out. The next crop of applications, things like Buzzword, are going to raise the bar. We're going to see how much better experiences can be and that's going to set off a ton of innovation in the Web 2.0 world.
I should try and find a time to chat with James Governor about how this might fit into IBM's SOA strategy. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Thanks to Zee for the tip to the article.