Mystery meat navigation

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Mystery meat navigation (also known as MMN) is a disparaging term coined in 1998 by author and web designer Vincent Flanders to describe a visually attractive but concurrently inefficient, confusing, or abstruse user interface, usually one that is Internet-based[1]. Such interfaces lack a user-centered design, emphasizing aesthetic appearance, white space, and the concealment of relevant information over basic practicality and functionality.

The epithet "mystery meat" refers to the meat products often served in American public school cafeterias whose forms have been so thoroughly reprocessed that their exact types can no longer be identified by their appearances: like them, the methods of MMN are clear to the producer but baffling to the consumer. Flanders originally and temporarily described the phenomenon as Saturnic navigation[2] in reference to the Saturn Corporation whose company web site epitomized this phenomenon. On this web site, "The typical form of MMN is represented by menus composed of unrevealing icons that are replaced with explicative text only when the mouse cursor hovers over them"[3].


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