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NO-Nos in web design. Things to avoid when designing websites



There are plenty of blogs that tell you how to do this, and why you should be using this, or why this development language is the next best thing, but not many tell you what you should not be doing. Here are a few pointers you avoid incorporating into your website, and the reasons why. This is especially applicable to business websites, but it is also sound advice if you have a website with a different purpose.

Do not create a site that has little or no text. Text is picked up on search engines, and can draw traffic to a site through SEO writing and the like. Fancy graphics are fine, but no search engine in the world will find them. Another little tip would be remember text in graphics wont be found either.

Never load your website via a flash pop-up option from your homepage. It wastes time, it takes time, and quite frankly, why? That’s assuming of course, it can get past the pop-up blockers. Why not just load the sequence straight away. Saves time, saves a pop-up and will drive less people away.

It is the same principle when playing video, and you provide lots of options such as high bandwidth, windows media player and so on. Flash is the only option, as it accommodates the users system, and configures accordingly. No other media player can do that, and its why Flash, should be the option of choice. Having just praised the wonders of Flash, it is worth remembering that Flash comes into its own in some aspects, but is not for all aspects of a website. Macromedia/Adobe created Flash, and their websites are not created in Flash. It simply is not suitable in this respect.

Your audience will disappear if they cannot get there heads around the navigation of a website. This is why it is a good idea not to change standard navigation of a website. If you were to, it would be like making a wheel triangular. Never create websites that can only be viewed in Internet Explorer. Firefox, is an established browser too, and if your site is not compatible with it, there is something fundamentally wrong with it. Same goes for other popular browsers, like Opera.

Remember web design is essentially about content rather than interface. For this reason it is better to dispense with graphics for links and use text with CSS. It looks pretty, but it is superfluous, and should only be used sparingly. It is a lot like Flash in this respect. The website has a purpose, and for many businesses is to sell products. So only use technology if it is needed, and keep to the basics where you can. Do not put Java, Ajax, or Flash into a site, unless it contributes to it.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you know there was nothing, if anything, added by the extra scenes when episodes four, five and six were rehashed. It is the same with web designing.
Make sure the homepage is not gibberish! Sounds obvious, but if you give your audience the idea about the homepage straight away, or convey the message if you prefer, and provide navigation for other parts of the site, then you have done a good job.

There are many more elements to avoid when designing a site, and this is just a few of them. These are good tips to remember though, and if you can resist using Flash all the time, or creating sites without text, or using technology for the sake of it. Your web design will improve, and you will see better results for your work.

3 Responses to “NO-Nos in web design. Things to avoid when designing websites”
  1. Goveonouoatah

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  2. starbucksfever

    I agree with you godsmustbecrazy (what a funny name). The article is indeed very informative but it needs to be formatted in a way that’s easy to the eyes.

  3. godsmustbecrazy

    This is a great and informative article. It points to a lot of critical aspects in web design. I do suggest however, that the article be formatted into a more inviting and reader-friendly format. Make use of bullets, numbers, sub-headings, etc.

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