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AJAX: Usability versus Accessibility

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 2007/11/17

Two of the Web2.0 buzzwords are Accessibility and Usability. They both should be implemented in the websites of this new age of web. Now another buzzword, this one technical: AJAX. This technique to update only some parts of the website without reloading it all has allowed developers to increase the usability of their websites making them faster and improving the user interface to make them resemble desktop applications.



But at what cost? Most of this websites are not correctly loaded on mobile phones or javascriptless browsers. But there are a few that do the AJAX degradation well or pick the easy way (my favorite) and create a basic HTML version. I believe this last one is more effective because the user interface using Javascript with AJAX has a different structure than simple HTML and they should be made independently.



But for those who don’t like making another full website for the minority of browsers, there is now a framework for injecting “accessibility using AJAX techniques”. It’s called AxsJAX, it is being opensourced by Google (It is being used on Google Reader) and you can find out more about this on ifacethoughts.