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what the voices in my head tell me to write

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I found a use for AJAX on a site! 

I was ordering some seeds for the garden last night. Both of the suppliers websites I was on had a very handy feature. They had a page which assumed that you had a copy of the print catalog in front of you and therefore had the various product codes etc. On the page was a simple form with around 12 input boxes for entering product codes and the quantity for each one.

This was incredibly speedy, no searching through long listings of varieties of carrots etc to click on the right link. A really good example of integrating traditional paper based systems and e-commerce.

But the one thing it lacked was any immediate feedback on the product code you typed in for each input box. You had to wait until you pressed "add to cart" and check the contents of your cart very carefully to see if you had made a typo entering in your product codes.

With a little bit of ajax you could check the product code when the box looses focus and return a little bit of text or even a picture to show what that code relates to. Less errors, more feedback and better interaction.

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