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I have this site where you have thumbnails in left and right columns. Clicking on a thumbnail will load the main image in the center.

There are two ways I can do this:

  1. Use ajax to load the main image in the center

  2. Make thumbnails into anchor tags, clicking it will basically load a new page with a different main image in center

I like method 1 because it is fast, offers better user experience. But I like method 2 because search engines will be able to map the entire site by following the links.

A problem with method 2 is that after the new page loads, the left and right columns don't remember their scroll position, and I have to use javascript to restore that.

Can I have a UI design that provides a fast user experience, and still have all the main images crawlable? May be I need a site map. What is the best design for this?

closed as off-topic by dnbrv, Charles Wesley, Vitaly Mijiritsky, JohnGB Feb 13 '15 at 21:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about Implementation are off-topic because this site is for User Experience design questions, not questions around how to implement these designs. Therefore, questions around the use of programs like Photoshop or languages such as CSS or JavaScript are off topic." – dnbrv, Charles Wesley, Vitaly Mijiritsky, JohnGB
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    "Can I use method 1 and still have all the main images crawlable?" this is an implementation question that belongs in Stack Overflow. – dnbrv Feb 13 '15 at 18:41
  • I modified the question. Also I disagree that this is am implementation question. I am looking for design ideas that would allow a smooth UI experience while not compromising a search engine's ability to crawl the pages. – rosewater Feb 16 '15 at 19:22
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I think I will go with the links (method 2) instead of ajax, but combined with this approach.

So instead of scrollbars in the left and right columns, I can paginate those panes with the thumbnails. This way I do not have to worry about positioning scrollbars when a new page loads. When the page loads, I can just set the correct page that the thumbnail is in.

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