Flex UIs aren’t all that

By Deane Barker on February 2, 2009

The case against Flex-based application UIs: Love this post from Tony Byrne. I agree with every word of it.

To me, turning to Flex for a content management interface is a cop-out. It creates nice demoware for the vendor, but long-term problems for you. I can see why Flex is alluring for vendors: maintaining consistent, cross-browser compatibility (especially with AJAX) is hard and expensive. But why does that mean that you the customer must give up the simplicity and supportability of a native browser-based interface?



  1. While I am far from an Adobe apologist (I can’t stand when a site uses something complex and proprietary when simple HTML would do), I have a client that has a custom CMS with a beautiful all Flex UI. I have seen some usability study videos that show how fast one of their editors is able to work in it. The performance is better than anything I have seen on even the most AJAXified HTML user interfaces. Nuxeo has taken a similar approach by building an installable client on the Eclipse RCP platform (http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/RichClientPlatform).

    While I agree that a standard AJAX Web UI is going to be the best for most content management uses, a thicker client is sometimes better for high intensity web publishing. A good example is a web editor that processes 50 articles a day by adding metadata, writing teasers, associating images, and setting display rules.

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