Chapter 13. Improving Usability with jQuery

In This Chapter

  • Creating an accordion page

  • Building a tab-based interface

  • Working with scrollbars

  • Managing selectable items

  • Building a sorting mechanism

  • Using the dialog box tool

The jQuery UI adds some outstanding capabilities to your Web pages. Some of the most interesting tools are widgets, which are user interface elements not supplied in standard HTML. Some of these elements supplement HTML by providing easier input options. For example, getting users to enter dates in a predictable manner can be quite difficult. The datePicker widget's interface is easy for programmers to add and easy for users to use. Another important class of tools provided by the jQuery UI helps manage complex pages by hiding content until it is needed.

Multi-Element Designs

The issue of how to handle page complexity has been constant in Web development. As a page grows longer and more complex, navigating it becomes difficult. Early versions of HTML had few solutions to this problem. The use of frames was popular because it lets programmers place navigation information in one frame and content in another. Frames added usability problems, however, so they have fallen from favor. Although dynamic HTML and AJAX seem like perfect replacement technologies, they can be difficult to implement, especially in a reliable cross-browser manner.

The jQuery UI provides two incredible tools for the management of larger pages:

  • Accordion tool: Creates a large page but display only smaller ...

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