I am one of those people who believes that web design is very much like designing a car.  In order to create something great you must understand how it works.  Over the past few years I have been working on a number of projects that look at brand, web applications and the implications of technology on brand. This new generation of explorations looks at Ajax, Flash, Apollo and a number of presentation layer languages that facilitate the best consumer experiences.  Here are some great excerpts from Head Rush Ajax by Brett McLaughlin what this does is gives marketers and old school HTMLers the 411 on asynchronous JavaScript and XML.

Put a new shine on your web applications.
Tired of
clunky web interfaces and waiting around for a page to reload? Well, it’s
about time to give your web apps that pine-scented desktop application
feel. What are we talking about? Just the newest thing to hit the Web:
Ajax—asynchronous JavaScript and XML—and your ticket to building
rich Internet applications that are more interactive, responsive, and easy
to use.

So, grab your trial-size Ajax, included with every copy of Head
Rush Ajax: we’re about to put some polish on your web apps.

Are your customers tired of waiting around when they place an order on your
site? Are you getting complaints that every time a button is pushed, the page
reloads? Then it’s time to get with the program, and take your programming to
the next level. Welcome to the next generation of web apps, where JavaScript,
some dynamic HTML, and a little bit of XML can make your applications feel
like dynamic, responsive desktop apps.

Let’s take a look at the kind of applications you (and your customers) are used to:

Welcome to the new millenium!

Anybody can program using the same old request/response
model. But if you want faster apps that feel like you’re
working on a desktop, you need something new—you need
Ajax, a completely different approach to web programming:

Web Design with Ajax

“Reloads? We don’t need no stinking reloads.”

There’s nothing more annoying than an application that redraws the whole
page everytime you push a button or type in a value. In Katie’s report, only a
few numbers are changing, but the entire page has to be redrawn.

First, let's figure out why all that reloading is going on......

Ajax to the rescue

Do you see what the problem is? Every time Katie wants to find out the
latest number of boards sold, the entire screen is redrawn, and she’s left
with the Internet version of snow blindness.

Use Ajax to fix the web report...

Let’s change Katie’s report to use Ajax to send the request
for updated board sales. Then we can get the response from
the server, and update the web page using JavaScript and
dynamic HTML. No more page reloading, and Katie will be
a happy snowboarder again.

Read more at: http://www.webreference.com/programming/hra/3.html

ON: Web Designing Today – Not Yesterday via @jpenabickley