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Re: Select lists and automatically forwarding onchange

for

From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Nov 29, 2005 11:40AM


On Tue, 29 Nov 2005, Tim wrote:

> I wonder... I'm sure I've read that from an accessibility pov, the following
> is very bad form.

Select lists for navigation are poor usability and poor accessibility.
See http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/navmenu.html

> A select list is used to list pages on a site
> The visitor makes a selection

Here's the first problem. You cannot know how the visitor sees (or
otherwise observes) the menu. The only thing that is sure is that
the items do not look like and do not behave as links. And that's _bad_.

> The visitor is automatically redirected to a new page via some scripting

This usually fails whenever client-side scripting is disabled, and it can
be really annoying when it "works".

> I used to think this was bad because for those who use the keyboard, when
> scrolling through the list they get redirected before they want?

Why did you think so? If such things happen sometimes, they are surely not
the main argument against navigational select lists.

> Also, if scripting is disabled (I've heard of this mythical user but my web
> stats don't seem to have found them yet) then the select list won't work.

Do you mean that you designed a site that requires client-side scripting
to be enabled and now you have observed that people with scripting
disabled don't visit it? (I won't ask how you get the stats. I already
know that 97.2 % of all stats have just been made up and the rest 3.8 %
have been miscalculated.)

> Are there any other reasons why you shouldn't use this automatic redirection
> in conjunction with a select list but use an input button instead to trigger
> the action?

The simple reason is that it is a harmful complication. Links work _much_
better. There are lots of other reasons of course.

--
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/