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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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Damon Clark <[log in to unmask]>
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Tue, 20 May 1997 10:19:51 +0000
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Damon Clark <[log in to unmask]>
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Dear All

Some of the thoughts on this (Sedgwick website http://www.sedgwick.com)
were posted to CHI-WEB, and others directly to me. I thought that maybe it
would be useful to post what just came through to me.

----------
Vine, Jennifer <[log in to unmask]>

>I sort of liked this, too.  The table structure with proportional
>columns keeps the menu in view even if the screen size is narrow (this
>is one of the usual criticisms of right-hand menus -- they tend to get
>lost).  One problem, though, is that it's implemented inconsistently --
>some pages have several repeats of the menu, and others only have one --
>the number of repeats per length of page doesn't seem to be
>standardized.  It's sort of a kludgy solution that makes for
>>high-maintenance (and slow) pages, as well.


----------
Jan Erik Moström <[log in to unmask]>

>The thing that struck me is that you get fooled to scroll down to check
>what is at the end of the page ... especially when downloading some picture
>and the network pauses.


----------

Personally, I think that the implementation is at least 51 percent bad.

There are some neat things:
- avoids problems with frameless browsers.
- the proportional table keeps the menu to the right.

I think that these are outweighed by:
- inconsitent positioning of menus
  (will users think that each menu does the same job?
    or that each menu applies to local content?
    see http://www.sedgwick.com/_global/gloindex.htm)
  (will users find the menu easily if the positioning
    is inconsistent)
- how can you predict the length of content in each individual browser, and
hence provide the correct number of repeated menus? Too few, and the
navigation breaks down; too many and the user will scroll down for no
reason.
- a narrow browser causes the menu and content to crash together as the
table collapses: with frames the collision is neater.
- the overall maxim of 'don't load what you don't need'.

Oh well
Damon



-------------------------------
Damon Clark
- voice and fax: 0181 675 8960
- mobile: 0956 504598
- http://www.daclark.demon.co.uk
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