Tuesday, October 16, 2007

AJAX and the Road to Bad Web Sites

John C. Dvorak finds usability issues with AJAX ...

"Here are six problems everyone must have seen all over the place by now:

1. Too often the drop-down menus are off-kilter. You click on something to find a drop-down menu appearing to the left or the right of where you'd expect it. When you move the cursor to the menu, you take it off the trigger button and the menu goes away before you can get to it.

2. Mismanagement of highlights. This is a common problem with Javascript and mapping the screen for highlighting. You run the pointer over one thing and another thing—the wrong thing—lights up.

3. Screens do not scale. Most AJAX implementations will not scale when you change the font size from smaller to larger. A worse situation is when some fonts scale and others do not, making a mess on the screen.

4. The forward and backward functions of the browser are often rendered useless by changes on a page that never actually change the page, making it hard to find something you were just looking at unless you remember the exact menu sequence.

5. Menu overload. Some AJAX sites have far too many confusing drop-down and pop-up menus scattered all over the screen, making it a nightmare to find what you are looking for. Site maps, which normally cut to the chase on many Web sites, can be useless on AJAX sites."    (Continued via PC Magazine)    [Usability Resources]


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