Monday, May 10, 2010

Simple Page Navigation -- why is it so hard?

I am a big fan of Men's Health but have come to really loathe their online articles. I began looking at this article and the first page required me to scroll a bit to read the text. One would think the "next page" sort of links would be at the bottom thanks to the unofficial convention amongst major web sites. This is not the case however, the next/previous buttons are at the TOP of the article, requiring you to first scroll to read the page (this is okay in my book despite the no-scrolling zealotry) then scroll back to where you were to move to the next page. Terrible HCI design. There needs to be plenty of room for creativity on the web, but I'm afraid the art departments are still winning the battle over the (probably non-existent) user experience folks.

I've been noticing poor navigation on plenty of other sites too so I'm not trying to pick on MH. The worst offenders seem to be "top 10" sort of lists. If I get the time, I'd like to dive into this a little more.