Professional Web Design Help: Bad Web Design
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It's not necessary to hire professional web designers to make your site look professional. All you need is to keep in mind the basic principles of GOOD web design and to avoid the mistakes of BAD web design. Here are lists of do's and don'ts.
Professional Web Design Mistakes to Avoid:
- Pages that link to themselves. (Someone likes to copy-and-paste too much!)
- Forms that go back to being empty when you hit the back button.
- Requiring the visitor to download a plugin or use a specific browser. (We've actually seen a "Come back when you have the plugin" message. It was Flash.)
- Too much blah-blah introduction. (Get to the point!)
- Distracting backgrounds. (One of the biggest no-no's in professional web design.)
- Links that open a new browser window.
- Links that are scattered across paragraphs, unlisted.
- Series of keywords in the page.
- Text that becomes unreadable when the browser's font settings are changed. (Professional web design must be flexible.)
- Pop-ups. (Pop off!)
- A gazillion links in several menus.
- Misleading links that take you to sponsors.
- Downloads that don't resume.
- Loud colors that make you feel you'll get hit by lightning.
- A home page with nothing in it but a logo or entrance sign. (Very amateurish.)
- No e-mail address or contact page unless you sign up as a member. (Don't take us hostage!)
- Page that says "free download" when the product is trial, not free.
- Pop-up sponsor windows when you run your mouse over a word.
- A disabled right-click menu. (Professional web design shouldn't take away convenience from the user. At least give us the back/forward commands?)
- Too much text and useless chatter. (No one wants to read some nerd's biography.)
- Articles copied verbatim from elsewhere on the Internet. (Ever hear of Copyscape?)
- Huge PDF file downloads with no warning.
- Pages that all have the same titles.
- A quiz or survey that loads one question per page.
- Google AdSense everywhere.
- Italicized text. (Hard to read.)
Signs of Professional Web Design:
- Page loads quickly. (Trim that HTML code!)
- Compatibility with all browsers. (Professional web design is flexible.)
- Design looks good even in black and white. (Literally, if user's font and color settings dictate it.)
- Clean interface.
- Complementary color design.
- Use of readable fonts, not fancy ones.
- Web site is friendly to blind and color-blind people. (Test yours with Lynx! Professional web design must not forget the handicapped.)
- Printer-friendly versions of articles.
- Links or buttons that are highlighted when the mouse rolls over them.
- Sliding menus.
- Comprehensive FAQ.
- Short paragraphs in articles.
- Bulleted or numbered lists in articles.
- Bold text to highlight keywords.
- Page isn't crammed with text or links.
- A site map.
- Text is readable no matter what happens.
- Site is not afraid to link to other web sites with same theme. (Confident!)
- Name, address and contact information of the web site owner included. (Transparency is a key in professional web design and management.)
Professional web design is about making a visit to your web site as pleasant as possible for your guests so that they will return. If you follow the good example above and avoid the bad, you won't be far from to getting that professional look and feel to your site.
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