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Re: links to external conten t- maintaining navigation

From: Terry Brainerd Chadwick <tbchad@tbchad.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 11:42:36 -0700
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20011016111342.01e3fcc0@mail.spiretech.com>
To: <mpodd@iqnetcom.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Michelle Podd wrote:
>Thanks for your response. Someone else responded to me off list and
>basically said the same thing...Frames are bad ...and... people will go back
>in their history (left arrow in Lynx).
>...
>I see this as a usability issue as opposed to a stickiness issue. We don't
>want to control the users' experience, just help facilitate it. How can we
>make the experience practical and useful for the user who uses our site as a
>launching base but will want to return several times during a session?
>
>If frames are not the answer - what is? Without using popup windows or
>relying on the back button, how can you offer an easy way back to your site?

I see it as a usability issue as well.  I think you are confusing people 
with your current design.

 From my perspective, accessdome.com is an easy URL to remember and type in 
if I want to go back.

However, if you want to keep the frames then:

1) At the beginning of the list of external sites, or before the link(s), 
state that people will be leaving your site and going to an external site 
when they click on the link, and to use the Back button in the top frame to 
get back to the site.  (In other words, let people know they're leaving 
your site and clearly label the way to get back.

2)  Make the top frame as narrow as possible, without the drop-down look 
tab.  I recommend making the entire frame no wider than your blue bar. (Get 
rid of the white space and tab.)

3) Clearly label the graphic, not just the alt, as "Return to Access 
Dome."  Don't make people guess.

4.  Make your frame titles more descriptive.   Instead of saying 
"AccessDome Navigation" and then sending someone to a page that just says 
"Return to AccessDome," why don't you just title the frame "Return to 
AccessDome," and have the link go to AccessDome.
         Regarding "external content," -- if you can, tell people where 
they are going and how to get back.  "FCC Adopts Rules...  Leaving 
AccessDome.  Use your back function to return to AccessDome."  (Hopefully 
shorter.)

5.  Make your graphic alt tags more descriptive. (I just looked at a page 
in lynx that says "SAP Home Page" in one corner, and the first link alt tag 
says "Home button."  When I use the link I go back to the AccessDome home 
page.  That is very confusing.

Sincerely, Terry

Terry Brainerd Chadwick, InfoQuest! Information Services
mailto:tbchad@tbchad.com  1-503-228-4023  http://www.tbchad.com
Providing Internet Audits and Optimization to Improve Performance
Accessibility, Analytics, Content, Promotion, Search, Usability
Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2001 14:42:10 GMT

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