[thelist] CSS drop down menus

Christian Heilmann codepo8 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 8 04:08:08 CDT 2005

> > I am currently researching the most compatible, compliant method of
> > creating drop down menus. Does anyone have one that they would
> > recommend? I would prefer to use as little Javascript as possible.
> You could take a look at 'son of suckerfish'
> http://www.htmldog.com/articles/suckerfish/dropdowns/

Suckerfish is a very elegant technical solution, however, before using
dropdowns there are some things to consider in terms of accessibility
/ usability:

1) Most CSS only dropdown navigations are not keyboard accessible -
some are but only on non-mainstream browsers
2) A lot of dropdowns are too fast in hiding the elements, which means
that a visitor with bad hand-eye coordination will get really
frustrated when you hide and show on hover rather than onclick.
3) When you use dropdown navigations you assume the visitor has enough
screen estate to show them all, she might not and lose the navigation
when scrolling the viewport
4) With multi level dropdowns there is no "you are here" state, the
visitor will need to go through all levels on every page
5) Without CSS and/or without JavaScript, the visitor will get a lot
of links not related to the current section. This might confuse and
can be annoying if you are only using a keyboard, as you have to tab
through the lot of them.

Just something to think about.

Chris Heilmann 
Blog: http://www.wait-till-i.com
Writing: http://icant.co.uk/  
Binaries: http://www.onlinetools.org/

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