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  1. #1
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    Javscript Site Check

    My client claims that 3 out of 10 people have trouble with the links on this site - I can't see a problem - can someone do a site check for me. http://www.fsborealty.ca

    My client insists (upon advice otherwise) on keeping the "splash" page and the popup page (at least the popup isn't full screen) - if it works properly, the popup should target the parent window.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2
    Web-coding NINJA! silver trophy beetle's Avatar
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    No no no no!

    That page breaks not only one (#6) but two or three (#2 & #10) of Mr. Nielsen's big no-nos. In case you don't know anything about Neilsen, I'll give you the 5 second bio. He's the leading independent authority on internet usability and a PhD. Take his word for it.

    Not only is that page annoying, but impossible for search engines to find! Ok, they'll find the first page, maybe, but they won't find ANYthing else. I'm sorry, but this is a prime example of HOW NOT to build a business website. There are no keywords, description, or decent title. There are no page headings or real anchor links. Hell, there isn't even any textual content on the first page to be searched or indexed! And because of the lack of anchors, Google et al think that website has only one page! Yuk!

    Try reading Kev's latest article or applying a method similar to what I describe here
    Last edited by beetle; Mar 11, 2003 at 08:19.
    beetle a.k.a. Peter Bailey
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetle
    In case you don't know anything about Neilsen, I'll give you the 5 second bio. He's the leading independent authority on internet usability and a PhD. Take his word for it.
    You don't need a whole 5 seconds to describe Nielsen.
    One word will normally do- four letters
    (I'll give you a clue- it isn't 'guru')

    It is possible to affirm certain points without coming across like Nielsen's PR department, you know?


    <aside>

    Although Mr Nielsen may be right on many points, I'd be inclined to stop short of encouraging people to treat his word like the gospel.
    Imho, there's no substitute for gathering all the relevant info, input and opinions and then thinking for yourself.

    </aside>
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

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  4. #4
    Web-coding NINJA! silver trophy beetle's Avatar
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    Bill, you always have some controversial thing to say, don't you? (that's okay, controversy and I hang out quite a lot)

    I agree with you. I just happen to think Nielsen is dead-on in reagards to the points I highlighted, and that Andrew here seems to be at the level where he could really grab some eye-openers from Nielsen's writing. I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here, so I'd much rather quote and give due credit and link up the relevant content then blab on about it myself. Besides, the bulk of my post was my own comments.

    Sorry, I don't know the four-letter alias you allude to for Nielsen
    Last edited by beetle; Mar 11, 2003 at 11:07.
    beetle a.k.a. Peter Bailey
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetle
    Sorry, I don't know the four-letter alias you allude to for Nielsen
    See? That's what happens when you take other peoples' word without thinking.
    Your imagination gradually deserts you.

    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

    Mate went to NY and all he got me was this lousy signature

  6. #6
    Web-coding NINJA! silver trophy beetle's Avatar
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    My fault, there's probably only about 50,000 four-letter words in the English Dictionary.

    My, how my imagination does fail me

    P.S. I resent the implication you make that I cannot be imaginative or original. I'm not sure if you're being facetious or not, but either way, that just plain isn't true. I've been in the business long enough to know that many of the thing Nielsen says are true, from personal experience.
    Last edited by beetle; Mar 11, 2003 at 11:13.
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  7. #7
    Shiver me timbers!! anthony_irl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Posters
    You don't need a whole 5 seconds to describe Nielsen.
    One word will normally do- four letters
    (I'll give you a clue- it isn't 'guru')

    It is possible to affirm certain points without coming across like Nielsen's PR department, you know?


    <aside>

    Although Mr Nielsen may be right on many points, I'd be inclined to stop short of encouraging people to treat his word like the gospel.
    Imho, there's no substitute for gathering all the relevant info, input and opinions and then thinking for yourself.

    </aside>
    So true.
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetle
    My fault, there's probably only about 50,000 four-letter words in the English Dictionary.

    My, how my imagination does fail me

    P.S. I resent the implication you make that I cannot be imaginative or original. I'm not sure if you're being facetious or not, but either way, that just plain isn't true. I've been in the business long enough to know that many of the thing Nielsen says are true, from personal experience.
    Beetle, don't dwell on it or brood about it.
    I was just having a lark.

    The four-letter word I was referring to was of the rude expletive variety.
    You know, like ****, **** and ****.

    I assumed you would have gotten the hint/joke.
    I must say, I didn't think the 'four-letter word' reference was particularly obscure, but what the hey.

    Either way, I definately didn't mean for you to take my comments about you seriously* or take offense.
    It's all good.

    (* I stand by my opinion that Nielsen is a bit of a plonker)
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

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  9. #9
    Web-coding NINJA! silver trophy beetle's Avatar
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    So taken. Emotion can be so dang hard to wrangle from the written word.

    I am familiar, actually, with the 'four letter-word' reference, I just couldn't think of any nouns or adjectives that fit the context. Maybe I had only one cup of coffee at that time

    For the record: I think Nielsen is great, but I don't think he's always right, and can sometimes be a bit if an architecture astronaut
    beetle a.k.a. Peter Bailey
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  10. #10
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetle

    For the record: I think Nielsen is great, but I don't think he's always right, and can sometimes be a bit if an architecture astronaut
    That guy seems to be having trouble keeping up with things I think.
    Thanks to the 'architecture astronauts' I can do things with my site that pure HTML cannot do. I even use a little bit of XML, which is alot better for loading data than javascript, as the data does not have to be defined the same in every case.

    I recommend keeping your site and mind open to alternatives. Thanks to architecture astronauts, who have their place the same as webdesigners, we can vary the use of the net. They come up with the ideas, we apply them.

    Anyway, for the original post.......

    Andrew. It looks fine to me, I like the globe!!! If you were to put a HTML sitemap in the opening page, search engines have something to follow.
    Also make sure your meta data has alot of the keywords and description of the site, but this isn't necessary if you can get search engines to follow to the rest of the pages, which I assume have some HTML content.

    Don't take anyones word as gospel, and take heed to my signature......
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  11. #11
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Sorry, Get rid of the
    'for sale by owner realty' page.......It's abit naff
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Regardless of the usabilty aspects (and I have to confess to agreeing that a complete redesign would be required to make the site usable), 3 out of 10 sounds about right when you consider the reliance on javascript and flash, and the use of those technologies worldwide...
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  13. #13
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    Regardless of the usabilty aspects (and I have to confess to agreeing that a complete redesign would be required to make the site usable), 3 out of 10 sounds about right when you consider the reliance on javascript and flash, and the use of those technologies worldwide...
    Have to disagree. If you can get the search engines past your intro page you should be ok, but the links will probably need to change if you are only getting 3 of 10.

    Why do you use the fuseaction=object.showpage??
    there are various methods to change page using HTML or javascript,
    maybe you are using new methods (get clients to update browser), or methods directed to Netscape browsers.
    I use this method......
    Code:
    document.getElementById(object).href="newpage.html"
    or
    Code:
    document.getElementById(object).onclick=changepage(object)
    but don't worry about search engines, especially when you use javascript links, so long as you use a HTML sitemap
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Hmmm - what are you disagreeing with? The use of javascript as the primary navigation tool stopped me looking at the site - I had to go to the trouble of turning it on to actually have a looksee. Many (especially corporates, and its well established fact that people are most likely to look for both jobs and property from work) don't have that luxury - more still (myself included if it wasn't to help out), simply wouldn't bother.

    Non-conventional browsing technologies that don't implement JS, and most of the browsers for the visually impaired I have seen will choke as well.
    Opening in a new window kills the history, a proven usability issue.

    There's also a huge if there:

    If you can get the search engines past your intro page you should be ok
    presently that simply ain't gonna happen.
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  15. #15
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    what I meant by that is the relevent info will be shown by the search engines, so it would bypass the intro page anyway. The intro page will only come up if the client goes to the index.html or default.html, wheras the search engine will probably point past this.

    I disagreed with the the point "a complete redesign would be required to make the site usable" . I was feeling sorry for the guy who had to read it!! If I was told that I'd be gutted.

    Anyway, I use javascript for my menu, but then I don't have a commercial website and expect people to have javascript on to view my type of site. (Animated drum tutorials would be impossible without it, unless I use Flash)
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Ah, gotcha, and your right it may have sounded a little harsh - apologies for that andrew . The fact remains though that it is innaccessible - and by complete redesign I actually meant rethink of the navigation structure - I should choose my words more carefully.

    There's nothing wrong with JS navigation - it can make for a nice user interface, as long as it doesn't rely on it. Forthcoming DDA (disability discrimination act) legislation in the UK (2004 implementation) means that sites offering services using such navigation exclusively could find themselves being prosecuted. Extensions of the ADA (american discrimination act) could see similar implications there (although not yet extant).

    Neither of those points are relevant to the usabilty issues of some of the technologies emplyed relating to (for want of a better word) "normal" users, using the most common technologies. It is worth doing the job right, especially if you are being paid and it is a commercial site.

    Again, sorry if I came across as harsh - no offence intended.

    (Will have to point the drummer in my group at your site, does it deal with ego issues? )
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  17. #17
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH
    Forthcoming DDA (disability discrimination act) legislation in the UK (2004 implementation) means that sites offering services using such navigation exclusively could find themselves being prosecuted.
    Would a sitemap overcome this problem with the DDA then? This would be the other option for disabled people, maybe with a HTML link back to the sitemap on every page......

    About the disabled enabled sites, I recently learnt that ALT tabs get read out by certain browsers for the visually impaired. Does this also include ALT tabs set in JS,

    document.getElementById(object).alt="Speak to the Blind"

    I have included it in the whole of my site, so I hope it works......
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  18. #18
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Another point I've been thinking about. How will they be able to fine us for JS navigation this year, but next disabled people's browsers will be able to read JS? (or the year after) Isn't it likely with the growth of technology that search engines will one day read JS, as will disabled people's browsers.
    If anyone should get the fine, surely it should be the people that design the translating programs for not including JS???????
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  19. #19
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    I see that Andrew has not responded to any of your comments, but I feel I have some authority to speak on his original post, because I know him quite well. I've also worked with him directly for over 2 years. Andrew, sorry man, if you feel as if I am speaking for you is out of order, then I sincerely apologize.

    Beetle wrote:

    "Andrew here seems to be at the level where he could really grab some eye-openers from Nielsen's writing"

    Andrew is an experienced developer of many years, and delivers web sites and applications that blow doors off most competition. Skillwise, in terms of technical database and scripting know-how, he is the "go to" guy for many other companies in the region. And because he never stated this in the first place, the graphics were not done by him (phew!). He just programmed the backend.

    He is merely doing what the client wants, and the client wanted it this way...despite how it affects the usability of the website. That's why he is posting it here, to get more feedback and firepower for his cause, I assume.

    Markdidj wrote:

    "Why do you use the fuseaction=object.showpage??"

    He is using Fusebox architecture to build the site. Read more about it here: http://www.fusebox.org

    geof

  20. #20
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geof Harries

    He is using Fusebox architecture to build the site. Read more about it here: http://www.fusebox.org

    geof
    could it be this that is failing his clients? There are other ways. If there is a problem with his links, then its going to be something to do with this function, as it controls his links.

    I decided to learn javascript so I didn't have to rely on other peoples scripts or WYSIWYG programs, and I can change functions with newer ones easily.
    If his links are bad then change the function, if you know how it works......
    None of the other program will need to change.

    Isn't that what he wanted to know, why his links arn't working?
    I cannot say without his script, but he may be using document.all or other browser restricted functions, obviously scripts from an unpopular or new browser if only 3 of 10 work. Maybe he could detect browser and suggest updating on the splash page if the browser is old and the functions are new.

    And suggest the use of a HTML sitemap for the search engines to follow.
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  21. #21
    ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ Markdidj's Avatar
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    Fusebox attempts to reduce the 70% software failure rate
    not doing a very good job EH?????
    seems like they are causing 70% (7 in 10) of the problems........lol
    leaving 3 in 10.....................
    LiveScript: Putting the "Live" Back into JavaScript
    if live output_as_javascript else output_as_html end if

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markdidj
    Isn't it likely with the growth of technology that search engines will one day read JS, as will disabled people's browsers.
    If anyone should get the fine, surely it should be the people that design the translating programs for not including JS???????
    Hmm. On the first point, as we move towards standards compliant client side code, probably.

    On the second, no.

    Think about the purposes that javascript most commonly serve.....

    *swapping images (not that useful if yah can't see em)
    *changing structural elements of a page. (a nightmare if you can't see what's going on, and not really interpretable.
    *opening new windows (really the concept means little in the environment).

    Anyway, we are going quite off-topic (apologies again Andrew). It may be worth starting a discussion in this forum regarding the use of javascript and accessibility though,...
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  23. #23
    Web-coding NINJA! silver trophy beetle's Avatar
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    Geof

    I appreciate and admire that you want to stand up for your friend. I have no doubt that Andrew is a top-notch programmer. However, it's apparent that his (java)scripting know-how isn't up to snuff with the rest of his knowledge. It is very common for back-end developers to be not fully aware of complications on the front end. After all, it doesn't matter whatsoever how well the backend and database are programmed if 3 out of 10 visitors never see it.

    After all, his not knowing is why he posted here, is it not?
    beetle a.k.a. Peter Bailey
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  24. #24
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    Well hmmm, I am not going to even attempt to plead a case for Andrew's skills at this point. When he responds, then that's good enough for me. But I would think he is posting simply because he's looking for ideas from a good community of fellow programmers...it has nothing to do with his overall skillset.

    But just in case you are wondering, here's a link to his site:

    http://www.k1marketing.com

    In particular, check out the Web Applications link. Some pretty cool stuff in there: Flash Remoting, online courier apps, dynamic, realtime PDF creators, full-blown player registration systems...the list goes on and on. Andrew has gots some mad skillz, yo!


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