Cranky about website usability

I’ve just had my semi-annual argument with the author of Colorado Swimming’s website. I primarily use Opera and Netscape on Solaris, and Opera on Windows, and this website is barely useable even with Internet Explorer. I’ve got two separate issues with it – one is the navigation, which gets less intuitive everytime it’s redesigned, and the other is the extensive use of JavaScript, which makes the site a big hairy mess in anything besides IE, and isn’t too reliable in IE either. A summary of the author’s responses to my various comments:

* Upgrade your browser
* Only 1% of users have Netscape, and I’m not designing for 1% (apparently no one uses an OS other than Windows, either)
* The site validates with W3C (really?)
* The information you’re looking for is there, you just didn’t find it (and no, there’s nothing wrong with the navigation?)



  1. Michael Heraghty

    Universal design (trying to please all of the browsers, all of the time) is impossible. However, the principle is to “downgrade gracefully” — i.e. while not everyone will be able to see the artistic brilliance of your site, no-one should have a bad experience either.

    The Colorado Swimming website has some other usability problems, by the way. For example, the use of pull-down menus.

    See what usability guru Carolyn Snyder has to say about those:

  2. Katja

    Great reference – thanks! It’s easy to get so caught up in standards that you forget how very basic some of these issues are (like “don’t open new windows”).


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *