Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Ajax Summit: Anil Dash from Movable Type

Category: Ajax

Anil showed LiveJournal. He talked about how every page is dynamic, that the site has lots of users and how its very addictive for users to go and check their livejournal page. He’s saying that hundreds of thousands of users check their journal 10-12 times a day.

“LiveJournal is not very attractive. Its made by people with a ton of technical skill but not a lot of user experience skill.” “I advocate ugly ajax.” That is, less elegant, worse user experience, but has more users than the rest of our deployments combined.

Sounds like his point is that even technical folks should be able to use Ajax without the use of designers; even ugly sites should be able to use these techniques.

Kevin Fox: I was at first appalled when I started at Google by some of the lack of aesthetics in the Ajax apps, but I’ve come to appreciate those types of applications. They help us get out of old ruts.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 1:49 pm
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I should clarify here, though I’m not sure my exact words, my intent was more to say that the LJ community has historically favored functionality and features over slickness in visual design. As many people at the summit pointed out, LJ’s AJAX implementation is actually very similar to other deployments except in its presentation. A closer statement of what I meant is that “LJ is not *always* very attractive, but it’s always performing functions that are essential to its audience. And those functions are deployed to an extremely large audience, which isn’t true of most other AJAX deployments.”

Comment by Anil — May 12, 2005

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