It's not surprising that you're split on the issue, because it's like
you're asking if people prefer a poke in the eye or a punch in the
stomach. Mismatched state (the price doesn't reflect the current
selection) is bad. Encumbering simple interactions (clicking a checkbox
or radio button) with the overhead of communication with the server is
A vast improvement over pinging the server for updates would be to take
advantage of client-side scripting. For example, check out the
configuration engine for desktop computers at www.alienware.com.
Although there is a slight lag when you select a radio button or
checkbox (bad), you get updated info without having to refresh from the
server (excellent!): prices, estimated ship date, and even the sample
photo (you can customize the case) get updated in near-real time.
Without knowing anything about how it's implemented, I'm guessing that
the slight lag on their site is because the logic in what they've built
is pretty complicated for a web browser (in addition to updating the
total price, it also reports and updates the price differences for
upgrading/downgrading various components of the system). The delay
might not be noticeable if you've just got 5 or so on/off options, as
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On Jun 14, 2004, at 7:21 PM, Van Laan, Krista wrote:
> I'm trying to find out if there are any preferences
> for the following situation:
> In scenario 1, the page refreshes at each selection
> ... It may take a second or so, but it will update
> the displayed price total.
> In scenario 2, the user selects all options and then
> clicks an "Update Price" button, which changes the price
> total before the user continues to the next page.
> We are split on this usability issue.