Web application user interface technologies

Mikko Pohja

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    The World Wide Web has expanded from a huge information storage repository into a worldwide application platform. Web applications have several benefits compared to desktop applications. An application can be used anywhere from any system and device, which means that only one version is needed, they do not need to be installed and developers can modify running applications. Despite all the benefits of the Web, web applications are suffering because they are developed using the same technologies as the static documents on the Web. Some of these web technologies are outdated and were not originally designed for the complex use cases of the modern applications to which they are now applied. For instance, HTML forms comprise the main interaction of an application, despite not having been designed to describe complex and interactive UIs. Another example is HTTP communication on the Web, which always requires client initiative and is too restrictive for dynamic web applications. Additionally, new usage contexts have brought with them new requirements for web applications, which are no longer used only via Graphical User Interfaces. Recently, several parties have developed specialized technologies for web application development. These solutions are not only minor additions to the existing technologies, but also new technologies. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the advanced web technologies and propose improvements to the technologies and architecture where applicable. The technologies are evaluated against a large set of requirements. The aim of the evaluation is two-fold. The first part is to select a technology on which to base the further improvements, and the second is to identify the deficiencies of the current solutions. The improvements focus on the developers' point-of-view. Based on the evaluation, this thesis proposes certain improvements related to multimodal interaction, server push, and remote UI updates. It also discusses software that supports the improvements and XML-based web technologies. Finally, the improvements are evaluated against the requirements and compared to other solutions.
    Translated title of the contributionWeb application user interface technologies
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Vuorimaa, Petri, Supervising Professor
    • Vuorimaa, Petri, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-4010-3
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-4011-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • user interfaces
    • Web technologies
    • UIDL
    • XForms


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