Is Ajax the silver bullet?

CMupdate implies (article in Dutch) that content management systems will get faster and more intuitive by adopting Ajax technology.

I disagree with this assumption. Yes, Ajax is great for enriching the user experience, if used right. But like any other technology, Ajax is not a ‘silver bullet’. Lots of CMS interfaces can be significantly improved without using Ajax. And lots of new Ajax based applications will prove to be unusable. As goes for Flash, ActiveX and other technologies.

An intuitive user interface demands a user centered design approach instead of a feature centered approach. Earlier this week, Andreas Pfeiffer (Pfeiffer Consulting) published an interesting article on this topic. He formulated ’10 fundamental rules for the age of user experience technology’:

  1. More features isn’t better, it’s worse;
  2. You can’t make things easier by adding to them;
  3. Confusion is the ultimate deal-breaker;
  4. Style matters;
  5. Only features that provide a good user experience will be used;
  6. Any feature that requires learning will only be adopted by a small fraction of users;
  7. Unused features are not only useless, they can slow you down and diminish ease of use;
  8. Users do not want to think about technology: what really counts is what it does for them;
  9. Forget about the killer feature. Welcome to the age of the killer user experience;
  10. Less is difficult, that’s why less is more.

Returning to the CMS article: what I’d like to know is which CMS will come up with a real user centered interface.