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--- Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca> wrote:
> Frames were number one in a "top ten mistakes in web
> design" article a few
> years back:
> I think that has changed, but they're still "use
> with caution".
The use of frames is not quite so debated today. The
article you quote is by Jakob Nielson, who has been
cited as a Web usability guru for years.
The debate over "usability" has split into two groups:
the Spartans and the Designers.
The Spartans advocate fast download time over
everything - therefore the page should be mostly text
(in strict HTML). They prefer that images be avoided,
but will allow the use of small ones. Jakob falls into
The Designers have a "let me do what I want to"
attitude. They want the site to look good and don't
worry about download times, et cetera.
Personally, I believe the answer is somewhere in
between (and totally depends on the audience). The
Spartan approach is best if you're designing a Website
for users with low-end technology; the Designer
approach works for people with DSL or cable access.
For the rest of us, keeping it simple is the best
principle - that includes considering download times.
Most important, however, is navigation - clear signals
that tells the user where he is and where he can go.
BTW, I wrote my thesis on Web Design, and quoted
Nielson several times throughout it. I then used his
Website in a study of Web usability - and it was the
lowest scorer across the board. Most of my test group
- mostly composed of new users - said they would not
return to the site; it didn't give clear signals as to
intent or navigation.
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