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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)


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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Damon Clark <[log in to unmask]>
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
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?
  (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
- 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 Clark
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