Thursday, March 1, 2007

WebDesign Blunders: 7 things you should not do to your site.

As a freelance webpage designer I often come accross
sites designed so horribly or so badly maintained that I
often find myself emailing the author some quick fixes or
pointing out script errors.

Number One: Colorful pages

We've all seen them, you know the florescent green,
yellow or orange backgrounds. Just don't do it ... it's
ugly and it overpowers the text on the screen making it
difficult for those who don't click away instantly to
comprehend what your site is trying to say.

Number Two: Super-Font-Man

These are pages with 3 or more drastically different
font types on one page. They usually start of with Times New
Roman(looks like newspaper text) and then switch to 2, 3, 4
and sometimes more different font styles. A word of advice -
stick to arial or verdana at size 3 for general text and
reserve Times New Roman for headlines, and please don't
dare use H1 headings they appear super large.

Number Three: Black Backgrounds

Why on earth would anyone use a black background for
their website? Have you ever read a book with black pages
and white text? I don't think so. White text on a black
background will cause eye strain and literally give you a

Besides it takes much longer to load a black
background because your computer screen has to paint
'paint' on many colors to get a black background. White
loads the quickest and works best with black text.

Number Four: Msiplet Wrods

A scientific test recently proved that mispelt words
can be read by the human brain without much problem as
long as the first and last letters are in the right place.

See waht I maen?

But if you are trying to sell a product or service to
a visitor bad spelling and indeed bad grammar can seriously
ruin your reputation. If you can't take 3 minutes to
spellcheck your salesletter chances are the product won't
be of highest quality either, at least that how it is
interpreted by your visitors.

Number Five: Script Errors

Ooh my favorite! Ever got a javascript error when you
visited a website, it often says 'abc is not an object' or
'script error found at line 12'. Script errors are just
like spelling and grammar errors but more annoying because
they often will pop up an alert box with some strange
error message to make sure your visitor is aware that
something is wrong with your web page.

Number Six: 100 links on your home page ...

...and only 20 of them still work. The rest are broken and
your visitor can't even email you and tell you that you've
got 80 broken links on your home page because ...

Number Seven: No Contact Information

I can't tell you about the errors on your page or ask
you a question about your product because there is no way to
contact you. You have no email address, no phone number,
no postal address, not even your business name ... are you
even a real person? Who knows?

Strangely enough the persons that commit these design
blunders online will walk into a restaurant or store and
point out everything wrong with the place. Go figure.