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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

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Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at joelkellyATgmail.com

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ajax Expectations

If a user clicks on an image on your website, what does she expect to happen? You should know this, or at least give it some serious thought.

Because, likely, she doesn't expect her screen to be grayed out and have an ajax-loaded larger image slowly appear over top of the page. She doesn't expect to have to sit through a similar animation every time she selects a new picture.

Your site needs to manage your users' expectations. When your user clicks on an image in a gallery he expects to have it load promptly, in a manner that lets him quickly navigate away from it when he realizes it wasn't what he thought it was, and quickly select the image he was actually looking for.

Unless your website is your portfolio, it's not a presentation. So people expect an experience that they'll define, not one that includes a flashy use of javascript for its own sake.

If an animation or graphical element doesn't improve the experience for the user it necessarily detracts from it. Because they don't care about that it looks neat or that you couldn't do it without Flash before. Only you do.

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