In fact, when I first tried it out, I weighed the pros and cons and was so impressed that I happily decided to use it.
Now I’m not so sure anymore.
Pros and Cons Revisited
In the original article, I listed the pros and cons of using sIFR:
+ Truly choosing your own fonts is great, and it looks great
+ Once it is deployed, it works flawlessly
+ It degrades very gracefully
+ It is transparent (literally) to search engines
+ Compared to other rich headline techniques, such as FIR, sIFR provides much lower file sizes – sIFR introduces various usability problems. See above, in ?Bugs and Limitations? – Since sIFR is Flash, it has nonstandard interaction behavior – If too many headlines use sIFR, it may affect scrolling and system performance – If used improperly, it will significantly lower website usability (see conclusion)
These pros and cons remain unchanged. However, new things have come to light, and a few things have started to annoy me:
- 1. Headlines are invisible until entire page is loaded
Until just recently, I didn’t really have any long articles, so I never noticed the problem. Then I wrote about Favatars, and the bulk of comments made it quite obvious.
<h2>headers is initiated
Impatient as I am, this annoys me.
- 2. Since sIFR uses Flash Player, it behaves differently when selected, scaled or clicked
Most of the problems with sIFR are related to it being based on Flash, that is, a 3rd party plugin with it’s own custom interface. This means selection, right-clicking, scaling and linking works differently. Most of these issues are small, but the linking problems really represent a problem. More specifically, I am longing for my beloved “middle-click / open in new tab” Firefox feature.
Great For Some Things
I am letting go of sIFR for the reasons mentioned above. I might bring it back at some point, but for now, I’ll see how things work without it. I am very aware that I am sacrificing a design element in favor of just a little bit of speed and usability.
Why? Because this is my place; where I test things and see how they work. On client sites I will have little trouble applying sIFR and my clients will love it.On Noscope, however, I want my middle-click feature.