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ponderings / usability
my current pet usability topic (should anyone make the mistake of asking me) is the lack of an external v internal link convention. there's nothing more confusing than clicking around a site looking for information and suddenly finding yourself on a different site. worst still - finding yourself on a different site but not noticing you're on a different site (prevalent in global organisations where content is shared between different country sites etc.)
the best i could come up with for my own site was the use of the left arrow icon next to any external links but something built into the link itself would be preferable eg. double underline. please let me know if you've read anything which tackles this subject.
you can also read some more information on the usability thoughts behind my site
gripe 1: emailed links without a description. i'd hate to mention any [dave] names here [dave] but there's nothing more annoying than receiving an email with just a link for you to visit and no description of what the link might be. oh, wait, i'm wrong, there is something more annoying. i'll start again... there's nothing more annoying than being sent an email with a file you have to open where the file is a text file containing a link for you to cut and paste (note - cut and paste rather than click on). ;-p anyway, there's now some research to back up my complaining - it seems that the newsletter format which provides a short synopsis of each article with a link to read the full text is the preferred method [versus full text articles or just links].
gripe 2: my current usability gripe is pop up windows. obviously pop up ads are the world's worst, but for the most part pop up content is almost as annoying. i believe that pop ups are often used as an easy way out for content which doesn't quite fit in the existing site structure. i like to assume all pop ups are commercials and ignore them. now STOP USING THEM :)
also see my usability links
this long scrolling page of text isn't very usable now is it?