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By Jakob Nielsen. Judging from the email I receive, the most controversial statement I have made in my Alertbox columns so far was to make "the use of frames" one of the mistakes in my first list of top 10 mistakes in web design.

For new or inexperienced web designers, I stand by my original recommendation. Frames: Just Say No. With respect to the use of frames by highly skilled web designers, I have changed my opinion somewhat: people who really know what they are doing can sometimes use frames to good effect, though even experienced designers are advised to use frames as sparingly as possible.

Part of the genius of Tim Berners-Lee's original design of the web was a total unification of several concepts in a single idea, the page :. The fundamental design of the web is based on having the page as the atomic unit of information, Learn page suck that usability the notion of the page permeates all aspects of the web.

The simplicity of the original web contributed to its ease of use and Learn page suck that usability rapid uptake. Frames break the unified model of the web and introduce a new way of looking at data that has not been well integrated into the other aspects of the web.

With frames, the user's view of information Learn page suck that usability the screen is now determined by a sequence of navigation actions rather than a single navigation Learn page suck that usability. Navigation does not work with frames since the unit of navigation is different from the unit of view.

If users create a bookmark in their Hot naked black sex nude they may not get the same view back when they follow the bookmark at a later date since the bookmark doesn't include a representation of the state of the frames on the page. Even worse, URLs stop working: the addressing information shown at the top of the browser no longer constitutes a complete specification of the information shown in the window.

If an author copies the URL in order to include it as a hypertext anchor in one of his or her own pages then that anchor will not lead readers to the desired view but to the initial state of the frameset.

Similarly, if a user decides to send an email message to a friend with the recommendation to check out a page, then copying the URL from the browser will not work if frames are used since the URL points to the frameset and not to the current view with the information of interest to the friend.

Given that social filtering is one of the most powerful mechanisms for information discovery on the internet, it is an Learn page suck that usability disaster to disable the URL as an addressing mechanism. In addition to the fundamental problems discussed above, there are several minor problems with the current implementation of frames.

These problems will go away over the next few years, but for designs done in and maybe even they will remain a reason to minimize use of frames.

The November browser statistics from Interse show the Learn page suck that usability distribution of browser usage:. The BACK feature is an absolutely essential safety net that gives users the confidence to navigate freely in the knowledge that they can always get back to firm ground. We have known from some of the earliest studies of user navigation behavior that BACK is the second-most used navigation feature in web browsers after the simple "click on a link to follow it" action.

Thus, breaking the BACK button is Learn page suck that usability less than a usability catastrophe. Combining these two statistics leads to the conclusion that more than a quarter of the users either can't see frames at all or can only do so while suffering severe usability problems. Remember that many people don't view web browsing as a central part of their lives and therefore don't invest much effort in keeping up with the changing tools.

Many browsers cannot print framed pages appropriately. Of course, most browsers don't print anything really well, but at least regular pages normally print Learn page suck that usability full. With frames, it is common to have the print command result in the printing of a single frame.

Printing the full page is difficult with scrolling frames: should only the visible part of the frame be printed or should the content be allowed All pokemon girl sexy expand and take up more room than it does on the screen?

The original release of HTML was simple enough that many people Porr 6- 6- 6 massage i kristianstad it without any problems.

Frames are another matter, though. Newsgroups like comp. Frames are currently so hard to learn that many page authors Learn page suck that usability buggy code.

Search engines have trouble with frames since they don't know what composites of frames to include as navigation units in their index. Many websites that offer users a choice Learn page suck that usability regular and framed versions have found that most users prefer frame-free designs. The main issue in using frames is to ensure that URLs keep working.

The destination frameset may well have many frames that are identical to the ones in the departure frameset and will be cached in the browser, but by forcing a complete reload in principle, the browser gets a new URL for the destination. This means that navigation actions e. Learn page suck that usability example, a very long directory or other alphabetical listing could have a frame on top listing the letters of the alphabet.

Clicking one of these letters would cause the listing to scroll within another frame while keeping the user on the same page and thus not destroying navigation. Frames are also useful for "meta-pages" that comment on other pages. For example, a web design styleguide may need to mix discussions of design principles with live examples of entire pages that follow or break the rules.

In these cases, the embedded page should be treated as an embedded image even though it is implemented as an independent page and the "main" information that users will want to bookmark should be the content of the commenting frame.

Finally, it seems that the inline frames introduced in HTML 4. A frame that is inlined will be subordinate to the main page, and the user can still bookmark the main page and navigate as usual. Since mainstream browsers still do not implement HTML 4. My current best guess is that it will be best to print the currently visible part of a scrolling inline frame in order to maintain the layout of the main page, but some users may want to have the entire contents printed, so messy option settings may be necessary.

In the long term, we will need a richer model for hypertext nodes on the web than can be supported by frames. For example, composite nodes, typed nodes, hierarchical nesting of nodes, nodes with different views, and nodes with actions that influence other nodes are all ideas Learn page suck that usability have been explored in hypertext research.

It will be important to retain the positive attributes of the web as we move toward these richer information structures. Jakob NielsenPh. Donald A. Norman former VP of research at Apple Computer. Nielsen established the "discount usability engineering" movement for fast and cheap improvements of user interfaces and has invented several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation.

He holds 79 United States patents, mainly on ways of making the Internet easier to use. The latest articles about interface Download kusagana bongo watch video play, website design, and UX research from the Nielsen Norman Group. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get notified about future articles.

Disclosing Password Constraints in the UI. Usability in the Physical World vs. Share this article:. Share this article: Twitter LinkedIn Email. About the Author Jakob NielsenPh.

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