How not to design a web page.
Jakob Nielsen doesn't only tell us the good
things to do in order to get a web site right. He also has a list of
what not to do. (Lest
one get the idea that I always heed Nielsen's admonitions, I
readily admit that I've committed at least my share of design transgressions.
But at least I plead guilty to these by intent.) Among the most prominent
of these is frames. His reasons are very basic:
Splitting a page into frames is very confusing
for users since frames break the fundamental user model of the web page.
All of a sudden, you cannot bookmark the current page and return to it
(the bookmark points to another version of the frameset), URLs stop working,
and printouts become difficult. Even worse, the predictability of user
actions goes out the door: who knows what information will appear where
when you click on a link?
I can only agree with him. Though there's admittedly something technologically
captivating about them, frames are confusing to novices and aggravating
to experienced users.