On a site that me and my team developed, the client wanted DHTML hierarchical menu's, I was against it at first. (the whole grins for grief ratio, in implementation) However when the site went into user testing, I was amazed every user loved the hierarchical menus, they openly commented on how much they loved it. One user commented that they appreciated it because they could really understand what was in the sections of the site. Not only that the site had bread crumbing, index pages, section based navigation, but none of those navigation elements were even used. The users only used the contextual menus. When I observed this I realized that shit, this is a powerful navigation element, it is going to be very important that the websites hierarchy is clearly defined inside of these menu's. -----Original Message----- From: martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com [mailto:martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com] Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 2:27 AM To: thelist at lists.evolt.org Subject: RE: [thelist] Drop-down menu items Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers -------------------- Start of message text -------------------- Eric I think you're right in that the site you build has to match the goals of your client. Of course, if your site has narrative goals of discovery and mystery then you might want to try hiding things, like http://www.hell.com However, I think you're misreading Jakob. You seem to be thinking he's saying "make every site dull", and he's not. What he's actually saying is "test the site with real members of the audience, and do everything you can to help them to do the things they would visit the site to do. If you can't do some testing, here are some heuristics which will help in pretty much every case". These should be the *default* heuristics - of course you can deviate from them if you have justification (on a case-by-case basis) for doing so. Far too often, I see up-their-own-ass creative 'designers' who do it the other way round. Remember - design is about consciously deciding every aspect of the thing you are creating, not just the fluffy veneer. How it works is part of that process. Actually, even he doesn't expect every site to follow every one of his suggestions - he reckons a *good* site would follow about 70%-80%. Cheers Martin <tip type="solving the extra para leading issue"> If you find that the last line of your para has a different leading than the rest, check to see if you've done something like: <p> <span class="different_leading"> blah blah blah </span> </p> GoLive users seem to be particularly guilty of this. To solve, try <p class="different_leading"> blah blah blah </p> then the class will end at the end of the block, not just before it. </tip> Please respond to thelist at lists.evolt.org To: "'thelist at lists.evolt.org'" <thelist at lists.evolt.org> cc: Subject: RE: [thelist] Drop-down menu items <soapbox> hi y'all, okay, with the aforementioned gauntlet thrown down, here's why I don't kneel at the altar of Nielsen, and I question the wisdom of doing so for every site: The Web is more than a reference tool. It is a communication tool, like radio, TV, magazines, posters, theater...and as such, a rigid methodology such as Nielsen's isn't always appropriate for every site on the net. Doing an international corporate site with tons of information and a mandate to be easy-to-use, ADA-compliant, and web-standards-compliant? Then follow a strict strategy for usability and accessibility, cut the gizmos, and focus on structuring and presenting your content in the most effective way possible. Like Nielsen. Building a site for a local performance art troupe? Give them style. Give them motion. Give them a site that reflects who they are and extends their work onto the Web. Use the tools available to you to create something that becomes another piece of their work, and isn't cursed with the sexual magnetism of a telephone directory. Nielsen has good sensible recommendations that should be followed more often. But it's sort of like the Old Testament of web design....there's a bit of hysteria in there about the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unintuitive, the challenging, and the creative. Know your audience, know your purpose, and use what you need to use to accomplish your goals. Eric </soapbox> <tip> got paragraphs of text on pages that have extra leading on the last sentence? add a <br /> tag. simple and underused: got align="whatever" page elements? force a complete break by using <br clear="all" /> </tip> -----Original Message----- From: martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com >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. --------------------- End of message text -------------------- The principal place of business of PricewaterhouseCoopers and its associate partnerships is 1 Embankment Place, London WC2N 6NN where lists of the partners' names are available for inspection. All partners in the associate partnerships are authorised to conduct business as agents of, and all contracts for services to clients are with, PricewaterhouseCoopers. The UK firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers is authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry on investment business. PricewaterhouseCoopers is a member of the world-wide PricewaterhouseCoopers organisation. ---------------------------------------------------------------- The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. 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