Dynamic Elements

In the Evolt.org article Dynamic Elements Chris Heilmann explains why hiding and showing elements as a result of user interaction can reduce both usability and accessibility.

This is something I have argued many times over the years. Certain types of designers and clients are very fond of adding “dynamic” elements to web pages. Sometimes they admit it’s because they think it’s “cool”, but most of the time they try the “increased usability” or “three click” arguments. Chris’ article explains the accessibility problems that are common in designs that hide and show elements.

Posted on September 7, 2004 in Quicklinks


  1. September 7, 2004 by caffènero

    I definitely agree with that article. However, you can use dynamic-showing content for those little nifty things such as “baloon-tips” when hovering on links (e.g. to show the link title AND the url), or help text when you really need to keep the space tight (complex forms with little help icons alongside the fields).

    Of course you’d have to provide non-dynamic alternatives, especially in the latter example: maybe a popup window instead of the popup-div or a legenda at the bottom of the page.

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