disclaimer for websites (tables vs. frames)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : WebDevelopers : One Thread

"Lisa M. Balbes, Ph.D." wrote: > I have a client who has a fairly standard layout for some on-line > manuals. There is a section nav bar across the top of each page, and > an index down the left side. It's currently implemented in tables, > and he wants me to change it to frames. His major reason is so the > index will always be visible as you scroll down the page.

If he's paying for it, do as he asks. If he's paying for your advice, advise him that your recommendation is to save his money and keep a perfectly good interface.

Get a written disclaimer that you will not "fix" broken "refresh" actions by the user. When they hit the reload button on the browser, they will be whisked back to the entry page, because the frameset is reloading, not the frame.

Prepare him for the increased cost due to the complexity of managing navigation across framesets if there are any applications and this is part of a dynamic website.

Offer an alternative "control panel" - a separate window of navigation if it helps him understand that he is paying not to develop one page, but three (nav, index, content), and the interaction between all possible combinations of the three.

Since you effectively have to rebuild every single page on the site (to remove the existing nav and index), ask about the business case for doubling the cost of the site, with no overwhelming business reason for doing so. Have any customers / users of the site been unable to use the site because of the percieved scrolling "problem"? Is there a dollar value on the sales lost or increased employee time using the site in order to locate something?

Is it a problem with the navigation layout or the content, and by breaking up the content into smaller "chunks" you can "solve" the perception of lost navigation.

Is there missing navigation at the bottom of the page to link you back up to the top (to get back to the scrolled-out-of-view navigation?)

There are many alternatives to frames, and not many compelling reasons to use them.

Are there any well-reasoned business cases, usability or design studies that recommend _for_ using frames as design elements on the web?


-- Anonymous, July 02, 2001

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