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Dynamic User Experience: Ajax Design & Usability

We do not have any public dates for this course at present, we can run any of our courses at your premises. Contact us for details.


Web 2.0 brings with it increased interactivity - much of it through the use of Ajax (Asynchronous Javascript And Xml). Unfortunately, the arbitrary use of Ajax can damage the user experience rather than improve it. The course has been presented in a half-day version at many international conferences, most recently at CHI 2010 in Atlanta and UPA 2010 in Munich. This new one-day course was first presented at the Nielsen Norman Group Usability Week conference. It is the basis of an upcoming Morgan Kaufman book of the same title.

Note that although much of the course is equally relevant to web applications, the focus is on the use of Ajax to improve user experience for web sites.

On this page:


Full day (9:30 pm to 5:00 pm)


You will learn how to identify and improve static web designs through the use of Ajax and DHTML (JavaScript and the Document Object Model):

  • Where the biggest improvements can be made
  • How to make pages more interactive without sacrificing usability or accessibility
  • Designing for progressive enhancement and graceful degradation
  • Dealing with touch-screen devices (SmartPhones and Tablets)
  • Giving on-screen feedback effectively


  • About Ajax
  • Perceptual issues (change and inattention blindness, attentional gambling)
  • Engaging users
  • Design goals and guidelines
  • Accessibility and search engine optimization (universal design)
  • Effective use of Ajax (reducing navigation, real-time update, feedback)
  • Implementing Ajax Solutions (an overview of Ajax toolkits)


Usability, UX and UCD practitioners/managers (no technical experience is required). Web designers and developers will find this course extremely useful for understanding the relationships between Ajax, usability, accessibility and SEO but should note that implementation detail is mentioned only briefly.

Participants' comments

  • Fully met my needs in trying to understand what Ajax is and
    the benefits of using it
  • Instructor interesting and knowledgable. Engaging.
  • Use of examples and discussions were very helpful
  • Instructor facilitated discussion well


William Hudson is a User Experience Strategist who consults, writes and teaches in the fields of user-centred design, user experience and usability. He has over 40 years experience in the development of interactive systems, initially with a background in software engineering. William was the product and user interface designer for the Emmy-award-winning "boujou"; now an indispensable tool in major film studios. He has specialized in interaction design and human-computer interaction since the late 1980's. William has written and taught courses that have been presented to hundreds of software and web developers, designers and managers in the UK, North America and Europe. He is the founder and principal consultant of Syntagm, a consultancy specializing in the design of interactive systems established in 1985.

William has presented papers, talks and tutorials at a number of international conferences including CHI, UPA and Nielsen Norman Group Usability Week.

William has worked with a wide variety of clients, from startups to established multi-nationals (click here to see our client list). He is was the courses co-chair for CHI 2013 and is the creator of persona stories.

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