Jakob Nielsen says AJAX sucks?

Paul Boag

I know I was supposed to stop posting until after Christmas but I couldn’t resist telling you about this brilliant analysis of AJAX by Jakob Nielsen.

You can view the original article about frames here

Although obviously a bit of fun, Chris has made a very valid point. AJAX can potentially suffer from many of the same problems as frames, including:

  • Undermining the concept of the page which has become so familiar to users
  • Breaking the back button
  • Preventing bookmarking

As website owners, we need to think long and hard before jumping on the AJAX bandwagon. Sure, AJAX does give us with some great new features but we need to weigh that against the potential usability costs that come from breaking some of the fundamental browser behaviours. In principle AJAX doesn’t need to create these problems but too often web site owners rush to add new features without considering the ramifications.