AIEEEE! The Top 8 Web Design Disasters: Are you sending YOUR visitors screaming?
© 1999, by Harmony Major
The following eight tips aren't meant to offend, but to teach. I
want to help you avoid the same terrible web design mistakes that
I made in my first few months online. And, believe me ... when I
look back on some of MY first pages, I CRINGE with repulsion!
So brace yourself -- these could get kinda ugly.
DISASTER #8: Center everything down each page.
Centering ALL of your text makes it VERY hard to read, and even
harder to pick out the important points. And, other than that,
DISASTER #7: Include at least 50 banners on each page.
I, for one, am impatient. That makes me only one of THOUSANDS of
Web surfers that simply WILL NOT WAIT for your banner-laden pages
to load. When I visit a site and even see OUTLINES of tons of
banners on the home page, I'm on the fast track to a DIFFERENT
site. The statistics are true -- you're losing valuable visitors.
DISASTER #6: Make all of the text H - U - G - E.
Assuming at least 50% of the population HAS 20/20 vision, I doubt
that this is necessary. It makes your text hard on the eyes, and
your pages look less than desirable.
DISASTER #5: Use backgrounds with at least three bright, clashing
Super-retro, clashing patterns and colors make your text hard to
read, no matter WHAT color the words are. And, those wavy lines
in the background make our heads vibrate. This is NOT "The Groovy
Sixties," people. PLEASE spare us -- we need our eyesight for
DISASTER #4: Have absolutely NO way to contact you at all on your
If your visitors have questions about the services, products, or
resources you offer, they're going to need a simple way of
getting in touch with you -- an e-mail address at the VERY least.
We won't be happy if your long distance number is the only means
of contact on the site.
DISASTER #3: Don't put your name ANYWHERE on your site.
Realistically, you're making visitors feel like Neanderthals when
they have to send an email addressed, "Dear ... You." If you want
us to trust you enough to buy from you, you'll need to disclose a
bit more info than that! Employees of major corporations wear
name tags, or have name plates on their desks. An Internet
business should be run no differently.
DISASTER #2: Plaster things on your site that have NOTHING to do
with its theme.
If a visitor comes to your site after doing a search on Lycos for
"free marketing tips," then by-gosh... that's what they'd better
find. They didn't come to see the Amazon.com fishing books
showcased on your home page, nor did they come to bid at an
auction on the One-and-Only Network! Stick to your theme like
white on rice. (Please forgive the cliche'. <g>)
And, the number one "Webmaster disaster" that'll send your
visitors howling is...
DISASTER #1: Have whirling, spinning, farting, bubbling
animations on every page.
Putting animated bullets next to important text is the WORST
thing any Webmaster could do. This does absolutely nothing but
distract your visitor's eyes away from the info that was intended
to get them to subscribe to your newsletter, or buy your products.
"And, just what makes ME Ms. Know-It-All Web Design Woman,"
Let's just say that I've learned my share of Web design lessons
the hard way. Take a look at the page I used when I first started
out, compared to my website that I recently designed, and tell me
what YOU think. Make sure you let the old page load first before
scrolling down. It should only take a second. ;-)
"Why should you listen to me," you wonder?
I'll bet you'll be MUCH more inclined to take my expert advice
NOW ... after you're done laughing at my home page THEN. To coin
a phrase, "I've come a long way, Baby!"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harmony Major is the author of Yahoo! Secrets, where she reveals
how YOU can drive HUNDREDS more visitors to your site each day,
by getting a #1 listing on Yahoo. Don't just settle for "getting
listed." Use her instantly-effective tactics to boost your site
traffic with a TOP Yahoo listing! Visit: http://YahooSecrets.com