I’ve been wanting a new way to have a grid of thumbnails that pop-up larger images. While I like the functionality of my blog photo gallery, it’s not as seamless to click to each photo and to the next page or all the way back to the thumbnail page. Once you’ve experienced inline loading or toggles, it’s hard to go back to clicking and waiting as a designer and a viewer.
When I saw Jalenack’s (Andrew Sutherland) Ajax Periodic Table of Elements (screenshot popup) last night I was inspired! With the periodic table, details and relevant links simply pop-up over the chart and vanish when you’re don’t need them anymore, which allows you to stay in context. One of the things I like about asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest is that I’m no longer experiencing short term memory loss each time a web page refreshes.
Andrew’s been kind enough to send me the code (licensed under CC GPL 2.0) and Max and I are going to try and make a gallery with it that imports blog entries of photos from a MySQL database using this same idea.