Think about it.

It's common and accepted web design to have a text menu at the top and bottom of every page in a site, in addition to an image map. When we have a frames page, we consider it rude not to provide a non-frames version.

Did you ever consider why? I mean, really, what medieval users still run versions of Netscape or IE or AOL that can't support image maps these days? I'm sure they're out there somewhere, but I've never met any. If these were the only browsers around, some of these design quirks would be slightly pointless, but we still use them.

I basically took it for granted until I started fiddling around with Lynx.

Suddenly I realized that it's been ingrained in every generation of web browsers to design for the textual browser.

Perhaps I'm wrong, and people only do this because they think it looks nice. But when I started out, creating my naiive webpages about trivial nonsense, I instinctively added these features with no idea why I was doing so. This was just how things were.

Not only for Lynx: in fact you are designing for accessibility. Consider

  1. the blind user, with his speech synth trying to make sense of your cute imagemap.
  2. the bandwidth-poor user (my little students, behind a modem, with a sucky ISP, in Mexico), that prefers to navigate with images off.
  3. people with a small screen, that would prefer frames not to be vital.

Keep on doing the right thing. Bask in the approval of Jakob Nielsen.

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