The fundamental problem with the design of frames is that framesets create states in the browser that are not addressable. Once any of the frames within a frameset changes from its default content, there is no longer a way to address the current state of the frameset. It is difficult to bookmark - and impossible to link or index - such a frameset state. It is impossible to reference such a frameset state in other media. When the sub-documents of such a frameset state are accessed directly, they appear without the context of the surrounding frameset. Basic browser functions (e.g., printing, moving forwards/backwards in the browser's history) behave differently with framesets. Also, browsers cannot identify which frame should have focus, which affects scrolling, searching, and the use of keyboard shortcuts in general.
Furthermore, frames focus on layout rather than on information structure, and many authors of framed sites neglect to provide useful alternative content in the NOFRAMES element. Both of these factors cause accessibility problems for browsers that differ significantly from the author's expectations and for search engines.