“Heuristics, or “rules of thumb,” can be useful in both usability evaluations and as guidelines during design. Jakob Nielsen’s 1994 set of usability heuristics were developed with a focus on desktop applications. In 1997, Keith Instone shared his thoughts on how these heuristics apply to what was a relatively new area: websites. Today, in 2003, with Flash-enabled Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) becoming more popular, Nielsen’s heuristics still offer valuable guidelines for RIA designers and developers.
In this article, we focus on Flash because it currently dominates the RIA landscape. However, many of the lessons for Flash apply to other technologies as well.”
FYI, here is the link to Jakob’s Heuristics for User Interface Design.