Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Links I'm Liking

Three bugbears that I’ve noticed crop up time and again when reviewing a website prior to a redesign proposal are :

a) using tables for layout (accessibility)

b) using dropdown menus instead of left hand vertical menus (usability)

c) using relative width (liquid design) and getting it wrong with long line lengths (legibility)

Here are some links relating to these issues, which I have found either entertaining, enlightening or inspiring :

Why tables for layout is stupid - a fun CSS tutorial incorporating correct and appropriate use of tables

Dropdown menus; no thanks! - accessibility/usability isn’t just about correct code, it is also about the way people interact with computers - a good example here is the elderly person trying to click on a constantly disappearing sub menu within a dropdown.

Finally, liquid design. There seem to be a plethora of articles (including Jacob Nielson’s advocation) extolling the merits of relative width. All of these articles are dated circa 2006. In my experience, many websites get it wrong - by not designing specifically for this approach and mostly for not limiting the resultant line length. But - oh joy! - I found a website that gets it just right :

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