Links Want To Be Links
Larry Hennig on November 02, 2000 at 18:44:48:
You make some very good points, but please do not underestimate the need for simplicity beyond what the standard convention provides.
For example, my company is fielding dozens of calls a day from people who are confused by the fact that a file they need to download gets opened by an enbedded viewer - a situation that they find to be very confusing and tends to be problematic (e.g. a Word 97 document that doesn't print properly when Word 97 opens as an embedded component of IE 5.5). I can't find any universal method of forcing the file to download - something that will reduce confusion amoungst our public users and reduce our customer service costs. On-page instructions to click the right mouse button and select "Save target As" has not reduced the calls noticeably, and the last thing we want our web site to do is frustrate and confuse our customers.
My point is that many users need simplicity far beyond what us tech-savvy folks have been prepared to deliver, and some of the techniques you criticise are necessary to achieve that simplicity.
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