How not to use AJAX

Scoble’s got a link to PressDisplay, an AJAX interface that allows you to pan around a scan of a newspaper.

Now that I’m back working at a tiny start-up where building great product requires overcoming huge hurdles, I want to be careful about commenting on other people’s work. (Believe me, we’re going to be iterating like crazy based on user feedback, as I know we won’t nail it all at the get go.) But, I’ve gotta say, this whole thing seems generally ill conceived.

It assumes that the problem with reading the paper online is the paging metaphor at the individual page level, and seems to largely ignore the progress (yes, there has been some) that online news sites have made in making news more accessible online.

+1 for AJAX, -2 for the metaphor.


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One comment on “How not to use AJAX
  1. JM says:

    For _current_ newspapers I agree with your point, but if the technology is applied to archives it results in a significantly better viewing experience than currently exists. For instance, I do a lot of research in newspapers of the 1910s/1920s via’s interface. Images are in quadrants, you can zoom in/out and so forth, but it’s a completely sluggy process (click….wait, click…wait, repeat). If this sort of ajax-based interface was applied to the archives of newspapers available to researchers, I can imagine many many researchers would be quite pleased!