Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Jonathan Boutelle – Ajax or Flash: what’s right for you?

A presentation given at Web Directions South, Sydney Australia, September 27 2007.

Presentation slides

Session description

The web is finally moving beyond simple html. How can you make rich web-based user experiences that don’t surprise or aggravate your users? When should you use AJAX, when should you use Flash, and when should you mix the two? What are the opportunities and pitfalls when creating richer web interfaces? In this talk, Jonathan will argue that Flash and AJAX are complementary tools in the web developers’ toolbox, and that building effective web experiences often requires a blending of the two technologies.

Jonathan Boutelle


Jonathan Boutelle PortraitJonathan Boutelle is the CTO for Slideshare.net, a social site for sharing PowerPoint and other types of slideshows. Built on Ruby-on-Rails, SlideShare makes generous use of both AJAX and Flash. Prior to this, Jonathan was the the technical architect of MindCanvas, a rich online survey application for design research that also relies on both AJAX and Flash. Jonathan specializes in architecting rich web experiences, using whatever technologies are most suitable for the task.

Jonathan’s introduction to computer science was working in the lab of Andy Van Dam (the pioneering computer graphics researcher at Brown University), where he learnt how building stunning experiences meant thinking about both art and technology. His experience has included working in data visualization systems and business to business e-commerce. Jonathan writes an occasional rant on his blog.

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Thanks for an amazing few days Web Directions. So many great themes of empathy, inclusion, collaboration, business impact through design, and keeping our future deeply human.

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