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More Website Knick Knack


In our second article about useless clutter on websites, Chris Heilmann focuses on websites that try to reinvent the wheel, features that offer a quick "wow" and little else, and more. Are you guilty of inflicting website knick knack on your visitors? Take a look at the included check list and find out.

Author Info:
By: Chris Heilmann
Rating: 2 stars2 stars2 stars2 stars2 stars / 77
December 13, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · More Website Knick Knack
  2. · Why to stick to the tried-and-true
  3. · The site in the site
  4. · The Russian doll symptom
  5. · Changing the cursor
  6. · Baring it all
  7. · Forewarned is forearmed

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More Website Knick Knack - Changing the cursor
(Page 5 of 7 )

Even before CSS2 and its cursor property allowed us to change the display of the cursor – or pointing device, as the CSS specifications call it – people wanted to do it. This lead to a free plug-in called “comet cursor” which made every website a lot cooler – until people realized that it also spied on them (http://www.spywareguide.com/product_show.php?id=428).

Changing the cursor can make a lot of sense at times – for example, when you develop a Web application that allows for resizing of images or picking a certain area within another. Another good use is to indicate to the visitor that there is more information than meets the eye – for example teaching Microsoft Internet Explorer that an acronym was properly marked up:

HTML:

<acronym title=”Cascading Style Sheet”>CSS</acronym>

CSS:

ACRONYM{cursor:help;background:#eee;}

Output:

More Website Knick Knack

The available cursor styles do all have their meaning, though, and visitors will know what they are for. If we use a crosshair cursor on our navigation mainly because it looks cool it might annoy them, as they expect more to happen than just a reload of the page. So, unless we really do provide more functionality, it is best to allow the browser to choose the different types of cursors.


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