Good old Javascript is enjoying a Second Coming as the programming language of choice to make interaction design better than ever.

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One of Javascript’s new incarnations (well, almost new) is AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML), a dynamic combination of Javascript and XML that makes website experiences more harmonious.

AJAX makes your web experience better because as you’re browsing a website for the information you need, AJAX displays information on demand without the need for page refreshes. That might not sound like a big deal, but the sense that you get when you click a link and your screen flickers – even if only for a fraction of a second – creates a feeling of interruption and uncertainty, no matter how tiny.

AJAX dilutes that disruption by loading information rich pages that give the information you want when you ask for it. When you want to see information that’s different than what’s being displayed, clicking a link displays the new information instantaneously. The browser doesn’t have to request new information from the server because it’s already been loaded, or only the piece you need is requested preventing the need for an entire page to be refreshed. And that’s where the Javascript really shines. Any information that’s loaded behind the scenes is simply hidden until asked for.

There’s an example of this Javascript magic at work on this site. Visiting the Jobs page displays a list of job categories. When you click one of the categories, the job postings appear in the center column of the page. Clicking another category instantaneously displays different job postings in place of the current list without having to refresh the whole page.

The information can be displayed instantaneously because all the information that can possibly be viewed on the Jobs page is loaded and ready to go as soon as you arrive at the page the first time. And it happens so fast because both Javascript and XML are lightweight languages that don’t require a ton of processing power.

It all makes for a nicer user experience, something that The Content Wrangler is always keen to provide.

Read the seminal article published about AJAX by Jesse James Garrett on the Adaptive Path website.

Learn more about AJAX on Ajaxian, the website devoted to the platform.