We are developing a third version of Digital Asset Management Software. We are now have problems about selecting platform for next version. We have to select between

  • Desktop Application: Develop by native language for all platform.

  • Tranditional Web: no drag&drop, no double click.


  • Desktop class Application on Web: like evernote on web or 280 slides

What is the most important criteria for us to choose the platform.

  • 4
    Is it a UX question? – Deer Hunter Mar 30 '13 at 16:32
  • I don't know why drag and drop or double clicking would be key things to consider, but FWIW, there's no reason you can't implement both of those in a web application these days. – DA01 Apr 1 '13 at 7:54
  • @DA01 The drag&drop and double click is just example when you design to develop the Desktop like application , your web will look like desktop app more then web for example the stackexchange is look like web but evernote is not look like web any more. Evernote don't have "one big scroll bar on left side" and don't have concept of "change page when click". – Bank Apr 1 '13 at 20:40

You need to do a cost:benefit analysis, with the following questions in mind.

  1. How many users are on the various platforms? (Related: Are you losing sales because you don't support other platforms?) What are your projections for how this will change?

  2. What are the development cost for each your three scenarios?

  3. If you move from a desktop application to a web-based application (either traditional or desktop-class on the web), what functionality (if any) will you lose? If you lose functionality, how will your users handle that loss?

Developing for the web doesn't mean that you must support all browsers and all screen sizes. You can still specify that you will only support specific browsers (say, Internet Explorer and Firefox) with a minimum screen size/resolution. Doing this means that you don't automatically get a mobile web application, but that could be added in a future version as you get more comfortable with web development.

In my employer's case, we went from a very rich enterprise desktop client developed in C# and moved it to a desktop-class application on the web. We've mostly had to use Flex because HTML5 doesn't provide everything that we need so that we didn't lose important features. We're closely tracking HTML5 development, but at this time, Flex is the best option for us. We had a web version of the old desktop client too, but it only had a small fraction of the features of the desktop client, and was rarely used. Moving to a desktop-class application is allowing us to grow our support for OSes (we chose not to support every OS and every web browser on the first release of the desktop-class web application). This might or might not be the best solution for you, but it was for us.


Our first version is Desktop Application and we found that it take too much time for develop the Mac and Linux version.

The second version is Desktop class application on web and we found that It hard to make it compatible with all browser and all screen size.

After survey to our user we found that our user don't care much about feature or convenience tool bar. what they care is about compatibility and accessibility. May be because it's bussiness application.

The third version will be Traditional web because we think the most important criteria for us to choose the platform is How important is familiarity vs. multi-platform compatibility

  • The last sentence is incomprehensible... – Deer Hunter Mar 30 '13 at 16:32
  • @Bank I tried to make the last sentence clearer, but please change it if that is not what you meant. – JohnGB Mar 31 '13 at 16:10
  • 1
    It's a confusing question and equally confusing answer. I think we need more details on both for this to be a passable Q/A. Specifically, how it all ties in to User Experience. – DA01 Apr 1 '13 at 7:55

Great question, although it really is a business question I think your business decisions need to be supported by getting to know your Users. Weigh up your target audience against your budget!

Oversimplified example: A WebApp will get you more coverage with a smaller budget, it will reach more people thus it's good for a broad audience whereas a native app can also be quite cost-effective and take off, this seems to be especially true for Niche Products like Instagram.

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