How Does That Work In Frames?

In case you’ve got nothing else to worry about when thinking about your Web site/Web application, I have something else to fill those hours you’re awake in the night anyway: Does your application work in frames?

I mean, we’re not partying like it’s 1997 here, but you need to consider what might happen on your Web site if it displays within a frame.  Microsoft Hotmail used to open all of its links in a frame with its name and the option to close the browser window in it.  Facebook and About.com open up their linked content in proprietary frames.  And, hey, here’s an example of a site that fails within a frame.

That’s a slideshow of gadgets that make you look like a jerk.  If you click through above and then click the prev/next buttons, you’ll see that the slide numbers iterate correctly and that the prev/next buttons enable and disable correctly.

However, if that site is presented within a frame from Facebook, the first slide has the prev button enabled inappropriately:

Frame goofs that make your site look like a jerk
Click for full size

Click next and:

1 is the new 2.  And 3-8.
Click for full size

This failure occurs in the framed environment.  What else might fail if your site is presented in a frame, if someone on a social networking site or other Web 2.0 resource likes it enough to spread it around?

At one of my posts, the company solved the problem by detecting the presence of a frameset and breaking out of it.  It’s a simple solution that your organization might consider.  Or, I suppose, you could have random things go wrong.

Someday soon, I’d like to also comment on the design decision substituting “prev” for back.  Too easily, that can and will become a “perv” button in the interface or in print, so how about you not take that chance, hmm?

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