UI Design Is Different with XmlHttpRequest


XmlHttpRequest allows information from a Web form to be sent back to the server incrementally. This breaks the very features that make Web forms so obvious:

  1. You can clearly see where the input fields are, so you know what you can edit, and what you cannot.
  2. It is forgiving. You can explore all you want because nothing is changed until you submit the data.
  3. It lets you decide when to "save".
  4. It confirms any action taken, since you are redirected to a different page upon completion.
From Usable XMLHttpRequest in Practice | Baekdal.com
Referenced Mon Mar 14 2005 15:45:27 GMT-0700

This example, by Thomas Baekdal, shows how to create WYSIWYG web forms that also give users visual clues about what's happened. Be sure to look at the source of the Web page and note how CSS has been used to format the form independent of the structure of the form itself. Very nice.