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Ajax: The Definitive Guide by Anthony T. Holdener III

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Visualization

Visualization is all about the look of the application. It concerns creating an application that is aesthetically pleasing and that visually keeps the user's interest, while avoiding any potential distractions by including unnecessary components. Although it can be tempting to add "bells and whistles" to an application just because you can, they will only distract from the application and should be included only if the client has requested them.

Layout

The application layout is what ultimately determines the application's usability structure. Layout is the graphical design and structure of the web pages—something that should stay in the background of the application and allow the functionality to be the focus instead. A good application layout will do this, whereas a bad one will constantly distract the user.

You should adhere to the following four factors when designing an application's layout:

  • Balance

  • Density

  • Focal point

  • Consistency

With the classic Web, sites were linear, adhering to the structure of tables and frames. That's all there was to work with. As CSS became the norm, layout shifted away from this linear approach. Designers were able to develop sites that were organic in their form and flow. Organic design can be a powerful way to lay out an application; after all, advertising has been using an organic technique for a long time simply because it works as a way to attract a user's attention.

Figure 6-10 shows the organic site layout of script.aculo.us (http://script.aculo.us/ ...

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