Performance Design Principles - Desktop Application Considerations

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- J.D. Meier, Srinath Vasireddy, Ashish Babbar, Rico Mariani, and Alex Mackman

Consider UI responsiveness.

User interface responsiveness is an important consideration for desktop applications. You should consider performing long-running tasks asynchronously by delegating the task to a separate thread rather than having the main user interface thread do the work. This keeps the user interface responsive. You can perform asynchronous work in a number of ways, such as by using the process thread pool, spawning threads, or by using message queues. However, asynchronous processing adds complexity and requires careful design and implementation.

Consider work priorities.

When building complex desktop applications, you must consider the relative priorities of work items within the application and relative to other applications the user might be running. Background tasks with lower priorities and unobtrusive UI designs provide better performance for the user (both actual and perceived) when performing different tasks. Background network transfers and progressive data loading are two techniques that you can use to prioritize different work items.