Nielsen is mostly right about tabs

Jakob Nielsen has been back in the game lately with relevant, useful articles in his Alertbox column. And most of the time he’s right. His latest is Tabs, Used Right.

In the post, he lists a bunch of usability guidelines for tabs. The first one, however, I no longer agree with…

It uses tabs to alternate between views within the same context (not to navigate to different areas — a common mistake introduced by

I don’t buy that as a requirement any more. Context is a matter of, well, context. Because of sites like Amazon “breaking” things, we no longer differentiate between “area” and “view.” My guess is that we’ve become so accustomed to Tabs As Navigation that I don’t see it ever going back to the way it was, and according to Jakob, should be.