Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part II: Special Topics > 6: Responsiveness > Characteristics of Responsive Applications   Previous Next Contents/Index/Search


Characteristics of Responsive Applications

Although highly responsive applications can differ widely from one another, they share the following characteristics:

  • They keep up with users, even when they cannot fulfill users' requests immediately.
  • They handle queued requests as users would expect--discarding requests that are no longer relevant and reordering requests according to users' probable priorities.
  • They let users do other work while long operations proceed to completion--especially operations not requested by users, such as reclaiming unused memory or other "housekeeping" operations.
  • They provide enough feedback for users to understand what they are doing, and they organize feedback according to users' abilities to comprehend and react to it.
  • They let users know when processing is in progress.
  • They let users know or estimate how long lengthy operations will take.
  • They let users set the pace of work, when possible, and they let users stop requested tasks that have begun but not finished.

Highly responsive applications put users in control by quickly acknowledging each user request, by providing continuous feedback about progress toward fulfilling each request, and by letting users complete tasks without unacceptable delays.

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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