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Design for Usability


Noise Impairs Usability

Frames

Designers who fashion web sites using frames should reconsider for the following reasons:

  1. Frames pages cannot be bookmarked. The only page that can be bookmarked on a frames site is the index page, not pages located deep in the site. Visitors want clear navigation paths and a way to access information directly; site owners want bookmarks, return visits and ease-of-entry via search engines. Frames circumvent both group's desires.

  2. Frames take an already compact output area and often chop it into discrete units requiring extensive scrolling. This additional burden on the user runs counter to ease of use concepts and leads to a decline in readability.

  3. Perhaps the most important reason, frames are not HTML 3.2 compliant. Frames were created by Netscape and quickly adopted by Internet Explorer. However, in the most recent upgrade of official HTML coding, frames were not added.

Web site examples:

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    Copyright Kathy E. Gill, 1996 and 1997. Comments? keg@dotparagon.com

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