The Things We Hate: 10 Web Design No-Nos
Last week, we talked about five of the things that we do (or don’t do) to our web pages, which annoy those who are trying to look at them. And now to continue on with our list from last week, here are the last five things we need to be aware of when considering web browsability and design:
Ten Web Design No-Nos (Last 5)
- Opening New Windows– Cross-linking is great because the thought behind it is that it keeps the user on your web site. However, if when people click on a hyperlink, it opens up a new window, things can get hairy fast. I don’t proclaim to be a web designer by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re using a laptop or a computer with a smaller monitor/screen, having too many windows open can add up pretty quickly. In most cases, when someone clicks on a hyperlink, it should refresh the page so that the new content appears on the same page that they’re looking at- not in a separate window. Get it? Nowadays, most Internet users are savvy enough to know that if they DO want to have something open up in a different window, all they have to do is right click on the hyperlink and choose the option to do so.
- PDFs– If there’s anything Internet users hate coming across, it’s a PDF file. If you’ve ever seen those commercials for the Visa checkcard then you know what I’m about to say. Coming across a PDF file while your out and about on the Internet is akin to what happens in the Visa commercial; it interrupts your flow of web browsing! Often, if you are brave enough to open up a PDF, it will take a little time to load and then once it comes up, it is often not formatted properly which means that you will have to resize it so that you can actually read the text. Whenever you have the chance or option, convert PDFs so that they are readable on the web. It’ll keep your readers happy!
- Scannability– Most people reading things on the Internet don’t actually read everything; they scan it. Keeping this in mind, it is important to remember when you are writing web content (i.e. blogs or actual content pages), make sure that you include bold text along with italicized or underlined (whatever is appropriate). Remember the rules that you learned when you were in elementary school about how sentences and paragraphs are formed? Now would be a good time to use these rules. Know how, where and when to recognize that a sentence is getting too long or when a group of sentences need to be broken up into two paragraphs. All of these things contribute to the usability and readability of your web page and will make it easier on the reader.
- About Me– I certainly can’t speak for everyone out there, but one of the first things that I look for whenever I visit a new site or blog is an “About Me” tab or link. If your web page doesn’t have one yet, I highly advocate creating one. The “About Me” section should include a little more in-depth information about you and your site and what it’s all about. Some people choose to disclose more personal information here although it is certainly not necessary. Sometimes, I will click off of a web site if it doesn’t have an “About Me” section because it raises suspicion as to ownership and what the intentions of the site/person/persons really are.
- Linking– When it comes to website design and usability, the attention truly is in the details. This brings me to hyperlinking. When linking to other pages, ALWAYS make sure that the link works and that it is linking to the page you intended. Additionally, it is sometimes helpful (although certainly not necessary) to have the links change color once the person has clicked on them. This sort of acts as a reminder to the user that they have already looked at a particular link (just in case they forgot).