ajax or not (for content)?

11 Jun 2007 - 10:21am
7 years ago
2 replies
935 reads
Vishal Subraman...
2005

I realize this has been beaten to death, but I just came off a discussion
where the dev folks implemented ajax for

1. filters, pagination, larger image view, sort, change # of products (like
the ones in http://tinyurl.com/ythdmx)
2. content tabs

They claimed faster page load time as the biggest reason for doing it (and
most other people in the room were sold). I didn't agree and these are the
reasons I gave and they countered each of it:

1. ajax is suitable for tool like interaction models, not content/ breaking
the web paradigm --- whats wrong in breaking the paradigm?
2. content change is not clear--use hourglass or something to give
indication
3. SEO issues-- hack implemented to overcome it
4. URL's can't be passed-- hacks can again be implemented

So, I lost the argument...but something doesn't feel right ...to me this is
the equivalent of how a few years back folks started creating complete
websites in Flash. I think AJAX is great (for content) in cases like
refreshing scores, updating weather etc, but not something like this. This
is still not as bad as the hidefdvd.com example- where the complete site was
implemented in ajax (they have changed btw), but still bad enough.

--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

Comments

11 Jun 2007 - 11:19am
Dave Malouf
2005

I think there is some balance here Vishal. I think your issues are
good, but I think you are weighting them a tad higher than I might.

Or to put this a different way I think there is room for AJAX in a
content setting that protects some, most or all of your
functionality/usability concerns within a content setting.

And what's wrong w/ "hacks". I mean if they work from a user
perspective to achieve the functional goals of those users, is it
really a hack? I mean if it is ugly than it is probably a hack,
usually b/c it is last minute consideration instead of thoughtfully
designed into the application.

But to the point of your question, I disagree w/ the core notion that
richness is not required or desired within content based applications.

I do agree that an all rich site regardless of technology is probably
not only not necessary but will cause some of the issues you bring up.

The issue of performance is a tricky one that engineers seem to throw
out there at their convenience and I would ask for real performance
testing results for them to prove their point. I have equally seen
developers push back when richness was requested stating that it
reduces performance.

Last point -- "It Depends" -- the context of use is really
important when making these decisions about when to and not to use
richness (or any other design concept). I don't think we are at a
stage of understanding RIAs where we can create defacto standards of
practice around RIAs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17201

11 Jun 2007 - 12:02pm
Vishal Subraman...
2005

I do agree on the balance issue & I'm not advocating Neilson's vision for
the web, but what advantages do you see from an experience pov in using ajax
like technologies for whole pages of content (apart from page load time,
which is questionable too- folks who are on dialup typically have older
computers too (?), repeating content does get cached etc). And some of the
problems are mentioned here: http://swik.net/Ajax/Ajax+Mistakes.

We've seen people use ajax for whole sites & fail...we don't
have sufficient data for usage in cases like pagination/ sort/ filters etc.
My bet is that they will fail (to poorly generalize: I see value when the
page changes by around 10% or less)...I'll report on how our site performs
:) This also reminds me of how many people were against DHTML menus for a
long while...but are more or less acceptable now in many cases.

On 6/11/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> I think there is some balance here Vishal. I think your issues are
> good, but I think you are weighting them a tad higher than I might.
>
> Or to put this a different way I think there is room for AJAX in a
> content setting that protects some, most or all of your
> functionality/usability concerns within a content setting.
>
> And what's wrong w/ "hacks". I mean if they work from a user
> perspective to achieve the functional goals of those users, is it
> really a hack? I mean if it is ugly than it is probably a hack,
> usually b/c it is last minute consideration instead of thoughtfully
> designed into the application.
>
> But to the point of your question, I disagree w/ the core notion that
> richness is not required or desired within content based applications.
>
> I do agree that an all rich site regardless of technology is probably
> not only not necessary but will cause some of the issues you bring up.
>
> The issue of performance is a tricky one that engineers seem to throw
> out there at their convenience and I would ask for real performance
> testing results for them to prove their point. I have equally seen
> developers push back when richness was requested stating that it
> reduces performance.
>
> Last point -- "It Depends" -- the context of use is really
> important when making these decisions about when to and not to use
> richness (or any other design concept). I don't think we are at a
> stage of understanding RIAs where we can create defacto standards of
> practice around RIAs.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=17201
>
>
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--
-Vishal
http://www.vishaliyer.com

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