Wednesday, December 06, 2006

User-Proofing Ajax

A technical discussion about avoiding Ajax errors for a good user experience ...

"We’ve all felt the clean slickness of a well-oiled Ajax app. But think back to the last time something went wrong while you were using an Ajax app: how did it feel?

Chances are, it felt awkward and foreign. You probably stared at the little spinning “wait” graphic and wondered whether or not you should reload the page. You might have glanced at your watch and thought that the app was taking its sweet time—or maybe you wondered if your request had been made at all. You didn’t know what was going on—and you’re a developer! Imagine what a non-technical user goes through every time there’s a hiccup.

When good apps go bad
Ajax is handy because it avoids needless browser behavior such as page reloads, but it can also be dangerous because it avoids useful browser behavior like error handling. Gone are the “Server not found” error messages and that familiar escape hatch, the Back button. When Ajax circumvents useful behavior, we have to make sure we replace it as well as we can.

Perfecting your backup plan
One of the cardinal rules of client-side scripting is to accommodate users who have scripting turned off. Ajax implementation makes this easy: when hijacking (or “hijaxing”) a link or form to trigger your Ajax functionality, make sure that link or form resolves to a valid URI that will carry out the intended action using the traditional method."    (Continued via A List Apart)    [Usability Resources]

User Proofing Ajax - Usability, User Interface Design

User Proofing Ajax


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