Saturday, July 17, 2010

A GUI Tip for Website Developers:

Here’s another public service for you all, especially for those of you who develop websites.

As you know, it is common for a webpage to have links to multiple pages; groups of pictures perhaps, or the next group of hits, whatever. Typically, a web page allows you to navigate to these subpages with references like this:

|1|2|3|4| next |

Now it’s important to note that the word ‘next’ is entirely superfluous; it does not enable you to do anything you can’t do by clicking a page number. My goal here is to tell you how to lay out a web page so that the word ‘next’ (and maybe even ‘prev’) becomes utterly useful. There are two ways to do this; the best approach is to adopt both:

1: Put the numbers so close together that it’s really hard to select one and click it.

2: Display the “current” page number in a barely different way from the other numbers. That way, the user will despair of knowing which page he’s on, and he (or she) will be eager to click ‘next’.

I’m so glad I could help.


Unknown said...

Alternately, "next" could send you to a random page and "previous" could do a Google "Feeling Lucky" search for child porn. said...

Ummm... not a good idea. Some websites are so poorly designed that it would be hard to tell that your Next and Prev were not working as expected.
- PB