Dropdown menus: Good Practice?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by (Pete Cresswell), Dec 8, 2004.

  1. How does this site's menu implementations stack up good-practice-wise?

    http://www.wcasd.k12.pa.us/

    Although I can't find "About Us" anywhere in the HTML, the code behind the first
    dropdown ("About Us") seems TB this - invoked by a MouseOver later on:
    ----------------------------------------------------
    <SCRIPT language=JavaScript>
    <!--
    function mmLoadMenus() {
    if (window.mm_menu_0521134046_0) return;
    window.mm_menu_0521134046_0 = new Menu("root",160,15,"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica,
    sans-serif",10,"#000000","#02457a","#E7E7E7","#ffffff","left","middle",2,0,500,-5,7,true,true,true,0,true,true);

    mm_menu_0521134046_0.addMenuItem("Overview","location='http://www.wcasd.net/about/about_main.htm'");
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.addMenuItem("Community
    Involvement","location='http://www.wcasd.net/about/com_involve.htm'");
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.addMenuItem("New Student
    Registration","location='http://www.wcasd.net/about/stud_reg.htm'");
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.addMenuItem("Strategic
    Plan","location='http://www.wcasd.net/about/strat_plan.htm'");
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.addMenuItem("Assessment
    Data","location='http://www.wcasd.net/about/access.htm'");

    mm_menu_0521134046_0.addMenuItem("Budget","location='http://www.wcasd.net/about/budget.htm'");
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.hideOnMouseOut=true;
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.bgColor='#999999';
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.menuBorder=1;
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.menuLiteBgColor='#999999';
    mm_menu_0521134046_0.menuBorderBgColor='#ffffff';
    ----------------------------------------------------
    --
    PeteCresswell
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. (Pete Cresswell)

    Fernie Guest

    Hi Pete,

    I cannot answer your question but I am really interested in working on some
    javascript menus soon.

    Can anyone recommend a good editor for that generates the javascript for
    you? My html editor generates some javascript but nothing in regards to
    menus.

    Thank you,

    Fernie



    --

    ELKNews FREE Edition - Empower your News Reader! http://www.atozedsoftware.com
    Fernie, Dec 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. (Pete Cresswell)

    Noozer Guest

    The whole site is pretty much a pain... Too small to read and wastes most of
    the space in my browser with unused space.

    "(Pete Cresswell)" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:...
    > How does this site's menu implementations stack up good-practice-wise?
    >
    > http://www.wcasd.k12.pa.us/
    >
    > Although I can't find "About Us" anywhere in the HTML, the code behind the

    first
    > dropdown ("About Us") seems TB this - invoked by a MouseOver later on:
    > ----------------------------------------------------
    Noozer, Dec 8, 2004
    #3
  4. (Pete Cresswell) wrote:

    > How does this site's menu implementations stack up good-practice-wise?
    >
    > http://www.wcasd.k12.pa.us/


    + They have regular links for when JS isn't available.
    + Menus don't vanish the moment the mouse leaves them

    So better then most.

    However ...

    - User decides to visit "About Us", moves mouse, clicks, notices new menu
    appearing (i.e. drop down menus at all are a generally bad idea)
    - Regular links are images (worse, no alt text)
    - Invalid markup
    - Cursor doesn't change to indicate menu items are clickable
    - Small target areas due to tiny font size
    - Menus don't open when tabbing

    --
    David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
    Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
    David Dorward, Dec 8, 2004
    #4
  5. (Pete Cresswell) wrote:

    > How does this site's menu implementations stack up good-practice-wise?


    These kinds of menus are one of my pet peeves.

    Being right-handed, the mouse cursor is usually toward the right side
    of the page. Well, that's where the scrollbar is. Ok, I've read the
    page and I move the mouse over and up to the left to click the Back
    button, and three or four of those dang menus fly out at me. Really
    irritating.

    I heartily recommend you do not use them.

    --
    -bts
    -This space intentionally left blank.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Dec 8, 2004
    #5
  6. RE/
    >+ They have regular links for when JS isn't available.
    >+ Menus don't vanish the moment the mouse leaves them
    >
    >So better then most.
    >
    >However ...
    >
    >- User decides to visit "About Us", moves mouse, clicks, notices new menu
    >appearing (i.e. drop down menus at all are a generally bad idea)
    >- Regular links are images (worse, no alt text)
    >- Invalid markup
    >- Cursor doesn't change to indicate menu items are clickable
    >- Small target areas due to tiny font size
    >- Menus don't open when tabbing


    Thanks.... that's the kind of info I was looking for....
    --
    PeteCresswell
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 9, 2004
    #6
  7. (Pete Cresswell)

    rf Guest

    Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
    > (Pete Cresswell) wrote:
    >
    > > How does this site's menu implementations stack up good-practice-wise?

    >
    > These kinds of menus are one of my pet peeves.
    >
    > Being right-handed, the mouse cursor is usually toward the right side
    > of the page. Well, that's where the scrollbar is. Ok, I've read the
    > page and I move the mouse over and up to the left to click the Back
    > button, and three or four of those dang menus fly out at me. Really
    > irritating.
    >
    > I heartily recommend you do not use them.


    Check the one here, from the next thread, "Select menus above flyout
    menus?":
    http://southernpine.com/joinlocator.shtml

    Lots of fun can be obtained by mousing up and down the menu and watching all
    the menus busily slide in and out :)

    --
    Cheers
    Richard.
    rf, Dec 9, 2004
    #7
  8. RE/
    > I move the mouse over and up to the left to click the Back
    >button, and three or four of those dang menus fly out at me. Really
    >irritating.


    Just tried it...I see what you mean.
    --
    PeteCresswell
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 9, 2004
    #8
  9. RE/
    >I heartily recommend you do not use them.


    How about a tree-view scheme - where main topics appear in a vertical list on
    the left of the screen with a little plus sign on each one that has child
    items?...where clicking the menu item expands the children into view until it is
    clicked again....i.e. they don't just automagically expand or contract...so if
    the user expanded all of them, they'd all stay that way?
    --
    PeteCresswell
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 9, 2004
    #9
  10. (Pete Cresswell)

    wizard Guest

    "(Pete Cresswell)" <> wrote:
    > RE/
    >>I heartily recommend you do not use them.

    >
    > How about a tree-view scheme - where main topics appear in a vertical list on
    > the left of the screen with a little plus sign on each one that has child
    > items?...where clicking the menu item expands the children into view until it is
    > clicked again....i.e. they don't just automagically expand or contract...so if
    > the user expanded all of them, they'd all stay that way?


    IMHO it is even worse. At least most of the menus work on mouse-over.
    Try to avoid both.
    --
    wizard
    wizard, Dec 9, 2004
    #10
  11. RE/
    >IMHO it is even worse. At least most of the menus work on mouse-over.
    >Try to avoid both.


    What's the answer then?

    Always expose the entire heirarchy?

    If so, is there a commonly-accepted way to do it concisely? (e.g. little lines
    to children with the children indented maybe a couple pix...if so, how to draw
    the lines? .BMP images?)
    --
    PeteCresswell
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 9, 2004
    #11
  12. rf wrote:

    > Check the one here, from the next thread, "Select menus above
    > flyout menus?": http://southernpine.com/joinlocator.shtml
    >
    > Lots of fun can be obtained by mousing up and down the menu and
    > watching all the menus busily slide in and out :)


    <LOL> Reminds me of the inside of a piano!

    --
    -bts
    -This space intentionally left blank.
    Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Dec 9, 2004
    #12
  13. (Pete Cresswell)

    C.W. Guest

    On Wed, 08 Dec 2004 22:11:25 GMT, "Fernie"
    <Fernie@not_thisDocSignings.net> wrote:

    >Hi Pete,
    >
    >I cannot answer your question but I am really interested in working on some
    >javascript menus soon.


    Just remember that JavaScript menus are relient on JavaScript enabled
    or the environment it is 'encountered' with - such as search engine
    spiders can handle some javascript but not all ... so may not be able
    to follow the links shared in a javascript menu. They can't follow the
    links? They can't find and index those linked pages either then.

    So always provide an alternate method of navigation.

    >Can anyone recommend a good editor for that generates the javascript for
    >you? My html editor generates some javascript but nothing in regards to
    >menus.


    There are several free script sites that offer these kind of scripts
    too. Someone just posted some links to 3 or 4 drop down menus from one
    source in the psat week in another thread.

    Carol
    C.W., Dec 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:

    > Being right-handed, the mouse cursor is usually toward the right side
    > of the page. Well, that's where the scrollbar is. Ok, I've read the
    > page and I move the mouse over and up to the left to click the Back
    > button, and three or four of those dang menus fly out at me. Really
    > irritating.


    Not about code, but two words: mouse gestures. :)

    I just removed the back/forward buttons from my main toolbar.

    WRT dropdowns, one site I frequent has two rows of them at the top of
    the content part of the window, below the logo'n'stuff at the very top.
    One is essentially for the whole site, and the one below it is for the
    section the user is in. So if you happen to mouse down and pass over
    the top row of dropdowns, one of them expands and covers part of the
    bottom row, and it's usually the bottom row (the section-specific one)
    that the user is interested in -- that's why he's in that section.

    http://www.sportsline.com/collegefootball

    From up in your browser's toolbars/menus), try and click the "Stats"
    button on the second row.

    --
    Blinky Linux Registered User 297263
    Blinky the Shark, Dec 9, 2004
    #14
  15. (Pete Cresswell)

    Fernie Guest

    Hello Carol,

    Thanks very much for your advise.

    Best regards,

    Fernie



    --

    ELKNews FREE Edition - Empower your News Reader! http://www.atozedsoftware.com
    Fernie, Dec 9, 2004
    #15
  16. In article <3877F53F34B7E240Fernie@not_thisDocSignings.net>,
    Fernie@not_thisDocSignings.net says...
    > Hi Pete,
    >
    > I cannot answer your question but I am really interested in working on some
    > javascript menus soon.
    >
    > Can anyone recommend a good editor for that generates the javascript for
    > you? My html editor generates some javascript but nothing in regards to
    > menus.


    http://software.xfx.net/

    Learn to quote properly, too.


    --
    Hywel http://kibo.org.uk/
    I do not eat quiche.
    Hywel Jenkins, Dec 9, 2004
    #16
  17. (Pete Cresswell)

    John McGaw Guest

    (Pete Cresswell) wrote:
    > RE/
    >
    >>IMHO it is even worse. At least most of the menus work on mouse-over.
    >>Try to avoid both.

    >
    >
    > What's the answer then?
    >
    > Always expose the entire heirarchy?
    >
    > If so, is there a commonly-accepted way to do it concisely? (e.g. little lines
    > to children with the children indented maybe a couple pix...if so, how to draw
    > the lines? .BMP images?)


    I'm not claiming that my design is a good example for anyone to follow
    but simple indenting is the most recent scheme I've worked on. An
    example of the hierarchy can be seen readily at
    http://johnmcgaw.com/furniture.html . Sadly the way I implemented this
    is extremely clumsy and error prone during composition so I will be
    trying to clean that part up on the next go-round. And I'll get rid of
    the ugly colors and clunky "buttons" too just in case anyone was going
    to point them out to me.

    --
    John McGaw
    [Knoxville, TN, USA]
    http://johnmcgaw.com
    John McGaw, Dec 10, 2004
    #17
  18. (Pete Cresswell), Dec 10, 2004
    #18
  19. (Pete Cresswell)

    John McGaw Guest

    (Pete Cresswell) wrote:
    > RE/
    >
    >>http://johnmcgaw.com

    >
    >
    > At the moment, I'm not getting through from here.
    >

    Dunno. Site is up now and was up earlier this AM between coffee and
    walking times. Guess there could have been some sort of a glitch when
    you tried.

    --
    John McGaw
    [Knoxville, TN, USA]
    http://johnmcgaw.com
    John McGaw, Dec 10, 2004
    #19
  20. RE/
    >Guess there could have been some sort of a glitch


    Got it now.

    Wow. What tool are you using to generate that HTML...or are you doing it by
    hand? And just to give me a little foot in the door, is TheImager.js something
    you wrote or something that's available publically?
    --
    PeteCresswell
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 11, 2004
    #20
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