Despite the frequently asked questions attached to the end of Garrett's essay, some confusion still exists as to what Ajax really is. Put simply, Ajax is nothing more than an approach to web interaction. This approach involves transmitting only a small amount of information to and from the server in order to give the user the most responsive experience possible.
When the Ajax engine receives the server response, it goes into action, often parsing the data and making several changes to the user interface based on the information it was provided. Because this process involves transferring less information than the traditional web application model, user interface updates are faster, and the user is able to do his or her work more quickly. Figure 1-1 is an adaptation of the figure in Garrett's article, displaying the difference between the traditional and Ajax web application models.