Ajax and Mobiles

Paul Golding writes:

Let’s think of an application to illustrate the possible advantages of AJAX in the mobile context. Let’s choose one of the most popular portal experiences, which is surfing for downloadable ring tones. Sorry if you don’t use custom ring tones, but a lot of people do. Even if you don’t, I suggest surfing your operator portal to get a feel for the pain involved.

The ring tones are usually listed in alphabetical order for each genre, like rock, 80’s pop, indie, etc. Most portals seem to insist that users have to page through lots of listings to find the one they want to try (or buy). It would be much more efficient and usable to allow the user to scroll through a list of tones, or use a suggestion-panel, to home in on the desired tone. Also, if it’s a midi tone, then it can also be pulled into the page without re-loading and allow a helper object to play the tone.

Of course, this is speculation. I’m not in a position to try this out with a mobile device and the actual performance and usability improvements are guess work. However, I suspect that the improvements would be real.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.