Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Ruining The User Experience

Category: Presentation, The Ajax Experience

Being a semi-professional experience ruiner myself, I was attracted to this session with Aaron GustafsonEasy Designs, LLC at The Ajax Experience).

Much of the content was fairly basic “must know” stuff. A little review never hurts though; Besides — if you don’t know this stuff: you really _need_ to know before you get much further down the road.

These are things like:

  • Terrible error messages (“Error: Can’t display error message”)
  • Non-scalable font sizes
  • Distracting layouts
  • Not knowing your audience – Are they ready for the coolest new JavaScript trick?
  • Relying on JavaScript without a fallback.

The second half of the presentation revolved around that final bullet. Some tips, tricks, and approaches to “Hijax” (covered here previously).

  • Expanding/displaying hidden content on a javascript action, but falling back to a simple anchor href
  • Making up for an absence of js with css, using :target (and again providing a fallback, of course)
  • Proving the “submit” for the form if xhr can’t be used

As a frequent reader of ajaxian – these are things you aren’t considering earth shattering – but you DO use them everyday – and you know (probably first hand) that they can hurt your site.

Posted by Jim Halberg at 3:45 pm

3.7 rating from 19 votes


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Pingback by Basement Tapes » Ruining The User Experience — October 24, 2006

Non-scalable font sizes

Isn’t that a fault of the browser (i.e. IE6-), not a fault of the developer?

Comment by John — October 24, 2006

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Pingback by 本日書籤 « penk - Keep on rockin’ in the free world — October 25, 2006

It’s normal to have JavaScript activated – if it’s switched off, users should get an error message: “Activate JavaScript and press F5!”
Why should I build pages with JavaScript and provide rich functionality and then have to create a fallback solution? This makes no sense. It’s more important to put an eye to browser compatibility (a blink to some prototype functions and scriptaculous (doesn’t work in opera)). If you have created a full compatible site that uses JS, it should require JS, cause JS rocks.

Everything a question of philosophy ,)

Comment by Andi — October 26, 2006

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