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Cool Example of AJAX in a Blog -- Increases Usability

by Tom Johnson on Sep 15, 2007 •
categories: blogging technical-writingweb-design

Scott Abel's The Content Wrangler has a cool example of using AJAX (asynchronous javascript) in his blog to increase usability. Kevin Shoesmith is the blog designer behind the Wrangler's makeover. I'm really impressed by the new site design, particularly the AJAX functionality. (Here's Scott's more detailed explanation of AJAX.) Overall the site looks more professionally organized and designed than it was before. The software running The Content Wrangler is Expression Engine -- I'm not sure how much hacking or customization Kevin had to do to integrate the AJAX functionality.

The site also relies heavily on syndicated content. For example, the Podcast button shows the feeds of a number of different podcasts (see the image below). This in part gives the site more content without requiring Scott to spend hours each day writing new content. If you click on one of the podcast links, such as the Wall Street Journal Technology News, the right column shows the syndicated feed without refreshing the page. Nice.

Ajax and RSS working together

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.