[thelist] Drop-down menu items

martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com
Mon Jan 8 13:07:26 CST 2001

Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers

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>but seriously now, folks...though Nielsen frequently has his self-righteous
>head up his posterior,

To be honest, the only arguments I've seen against him are:
   "He charges $n,000 a day and I'm such a weenie. I don't like him"
   "I'm a crack-addict and can't wean myself off the flashy stuff"
   "His site is, like, soooooooooooooooo ugly"
   "I'm too lazy to learn how to write HTML properly"

You can't fault the fact that he writes based on *research*, not opinion.

If you want to argue with Nielsen, then it's a put-up or shut-up: do your
own damn research to prove him wrong.

>he's got a point about DHTML.  it's really hard to do
>it right for everyone and make it intuitive.  Frequently DHTML menus,
>especially multi-level menus, are a solution in search of a problem.

The only times I've seen them working usefully is to circumvent the
'3 clicks to the content' rule for accessing a deeply hierarchical site.
The reason for the rule is that people won't wait for the trips to and from
the server (except on fast Intranets) - although there's a bit of a wait for
the full site hierarchy to load with DHTML, you're not returning to the server
for 3 additional links.

Example: http://www.currys.co.uk/

Of course, you should also be able to click through too if you don't have

>  I
>think it's usually easier to restructure the content than to write some
>complex sitewide DHTML code to navigate it.

Can be. It's an option you should always consider. Then you can do a
cost/benefit analysis to choose.

>his opinions on Flash are another matter.
See above.


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