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Mystery Meat Navigation: Coda


One of the many visitors to this site sent me an email that brilliantly sums up the evil that is MMN.

Got it — now I understand what (Mystery Meat Navigation) is. Blind, unlabeled navigation you have to mouseover to get a clue, as opposed to navigation bars/buttons with symbols, which I also find to be not only annoying, but arrogant.

I agree with you totally—this new style is so stupid from a business decision standpoint, especially seeing it on major business sites, that it's troublesome how corporate execs are even allowing this.

I think what I'll do now with my business is change my answering machine as follows:

"You've reached XYZ Corporation. To find out what option #1 is, press 1. To find out what option #2 is, press 2. (Etc....) If you'd like to continue doing business with our company after we've slapped you around and wasted your valuable time, press 9". Makes sense, huh? And it's cool, too, since it weeds out undesirable customers who would only waste our time, because if people aren't smart enough to guess what various services we offer by knowing who we are, then we don't want their business, because they can't possibly have any money to buy our products or services.

And we should change all highway navigation signs, too, to be kewl like these new web designers. Instead of having the common green road signs we're accustomed to on freeways with writing on them, they should be big, blank road signs with nothing but reflective numbered buttons on them. When you drive by, you press a keypad on your steering wheel and an audio message tells you what Button #1 said on the road sign (i.e. "turn left in 1 mile to exit for 43rd St.") Then to find out what Buttons 2 and 3 said, you have to exit, turn around, and drive by again. Now that would be kewl, (and smart)!

Keep it up—you're right on!

Two of my favorite emails. Just received these notes about Mystery Meat Navigation:

1. Thanks for your crusade against MMN. I admit to having fallen prey to the siren song on this one—granted, I *did* use icons that actually represented where you were going, but still. I've since made them smaller and put clear labels on them so you don't have to guess or memorize. Kudos for continuing to whack us Web people with the clue stick of righteousness!

2. Okay, you win. I came in this morning to look at a big site we're doing for ourselves — and my designers had Mystery Meated it!!!!! I'll never, ever disagree with anything you say again. At least not until you say something again. Thanks so much. Your book is great.