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12 Annoying Things About Your Website (replay)

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 Shelly Kramer's recent blog posting points out what web developers do wrong - "12 Annoying Things About Your Website".

 

Some are pretty obvious, such as having loud background music and pop-up ads.  Some are more subtle, but still true, such as including Flash animation which is not supported on iPhones and iPads, and not having an easy-to-find search box.  

It is worth taking a look at Shelly Kramer's blog to get a general sense of what works and what doesn't.

My web development days go back to 1995, when there was limited Internet bandwidth, and bad design focused on not having that irritating, blinking, text.

I spent ten years hand-crafting web sites with HTML and PERL scripts, with the occasional animated Flash image.  It was a big challenge just get your site to look the same on Microsoft IE vs Firefox.  Technology has advanced quite a bit, and it is unusual for for me to hand-craft a website.  

 

With modern content management systems such as Joomla and WordPress, cross-browser compatibility has improved greatly, and adding functions to sites is much easier.  Basic functions and expected placement of log-ins, search boxes and menus has made designing sites easier using commonly accepted positions for headers, menus, and content.

One "annoying thing" that Shelly has on her list that I don't agree with, black backgrounds.  Black or dark backgrounds can make white text harder to read, but if done well, dark backgrounds provide drama to the page setting, and draw the eye towards the lighter colored sections, where you want to draw the eye.  Dark or colored backgrounds are more work to create because you have to be more careful to maintain contrast for your text, and images typically have white backgrounds which may need manipulation to look good.

I like Shelly's point #7 "Mystery - Websites that don’t tell me what you do, why I need what you do, and what it’s gonna cost me are downright ineffective. I don’t want to dig for pricing. I want the information, and I want it now." I subscribe to the "Don't Make Me Think" philosophy by Steve Krug, a similar approach to design.  

Someone coming to your site should be able to understand it in a fraction of a second and see where they want to go within the site immediately.  Likewise, as the website provider, you want to clearly guide users to what you want them to do - a contact page, the store front, whatever the goal of the site is.

I ask new website clients to send me links to 2-3 sites that they really like and 2-3 sites that they don't like - with a description of why they like/don't like the site.  That tells me a lot about what they want their site to look like.

What do you want people to get from your website, Facebook, or LinkedIn page?

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Scott is co-owner of Wave's End Services, LLC, a Colorado-based provider of Web, IT Consulting, photography, video, and training services.