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Mystery meat navigation

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Mystery meat navigation

This image map is an example of mystery meat navigation. For example, trying to click on Mare Humorum is difficult without hovering over every place. Also, it may not be readily apparent that the image is a clickable map instead of a simple picture of Earth's Moon.

Mystery meat navigation (also known as MMN) is a disparaging term coined in 1998 by Vincent Flanders, author and designer of the website Web Pages That Suck, to describe a visually attractive but inefficient, confusing, or abstruse user interface, usually internet-based.[1] Such interfaces lack a user-centered design, emphasizing aesthetic appearance, white space, and the concealment of relevant information over basic practicality and functionality.

The epithet "mystery meat" refers to the meat products often served in American public school cafeterias whose forms have been so thoroughly reprocessed that their exact types can no longer be identified by their appearances: like them, the methods of MMN are clear to the producer but baffling to the consumer. Flanders originally and temporarily described the phenomenon as Saturnic navigation in reference to the Saturn Corporation whose company web site epitomized this phenomenon. On this web site, "The typical form of MMN is represented by menus composed of unrevealing icons that are replaced with explicative text only when the mouse cursor hovers over them".[2]

"Click here"

The W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, as well as organisations such as WebAIM recommend against the use of phrases such as "click here" as link text.[3][4][5][6][7] "Link text should not be overly general, and should indicate the nature of the link target". The text should also make sense when read out of context. It is also pointed out that a mouse might not be available on the target device (e.g. because of a touchscreen), and that screen readers may review a list of available links on a page. Pages would also suffer when printed. A further disadvantage given is that it hinders the search engine optimisation of a page.

References

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