[thelist] Drop-down menu items

Andy Olsen andyo at tds.net
Fri Jan 5 11:11:51 CST 2001

What's the rap on drop-down menu items?

I've got a client who requested this. So, I went to 
http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/hiermenus/index.html and got their script 
and modified it. I finally got it worked out and their tech guy started 
saying it was a dumb idea.

Basically, this guy is saying that a) the Big Site don't use it and b) 
Jakob Nielsen says don't use eye candy or unusual navigation items. He is a 
Nielsen acolyte and says we should do what al the big sites do so people 
see things that are not new and they are comfortable with. He also says 
that it is distracting for people when they mouse over the menu on the way 
elsewheres and the menu pops up.

My point is that the techniques were dropped for some time because of the 
shaky implementation of javascript. Now, however, JS implementation is 
getting better, and 83% or more of the users out there have browsers that 
can handle this. The menus can be built to degrade gracefully for other users.

So, why do the big sites not use this? Is it a disaster?

And, for the love of Pete, why is Jakob Nielsen's site so ghastly if he is 
such a guru? 

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