Web Development

10 common Web design mistakes to watch out for


When you start designing a Web site, your options are wide open. Yet all that potential can lead to problems that may cause your Web site to fall short of your goals. The following list of design mistakes addresses the needs of commercial Web sites, but it can easily be applied to personal and hobby sites and to professional nonprofit sites as well.

This information, based on the article "10 ways to improve the design of your commercial Web site" by Chad Perrin, is also available as a PDF download.

#1: Failing to provide information that describes your Web site

Every Web site should be very clear and forthcoming about its purpose. Either include a brief descriptive blurb on the home page of your Web site or provide an About Us (or equivalent) page with a prominent and obvious link from the home page that describes your Web site and its value to the people visiting it.

It's even important to explain why some people may not find it useful, providing enough information so that they won't be confused about the Web site's purpose. It's better to send away someone uninterested in what you have to offer with a clear idea of why he or she isn't interested than to trick visitors into wasting time finding this out without your help. After all, a good experience with a Web site that is not useful is more likely to get you customers by word of mouth than a Web site that is obscure and difficult to understand.

#2: Skipping alt and title attributes

Always make use of the alt and title attributes for every XHTML tag on your Web site that supports them. This information is of critical importance for accessibility when the Web site is visited using browsers that don't support images and when more information than the main content might otherwise be needed.

The most common reason for this need is accessibility for the disabled, such as blind visitors who use screen readers to surf the Web. Just make sure you don't include too much text in the alt or title attribute -- the text should be short, clear, and to the point. You don't want to inundate your visitors with paragraph after paragraph of useless, vague information in numerous pop-up messages. The purpose of alt and title tags is, in general, to enhance accessibility.

#3: Changing URLs for archived pages

All too often, Web sites change URLs of pages when they are outdated and move off the main page into archives. This can make it extremely difficult to build up significantly good search engine placement, as links to pages of your Web site become broken. When you first create your site, do so in a manner that allows you to move content into archives without having to change the URL. Popularity on the Web is built on word of mouth, and you won't be getting any of that publicity if your page URLs change every few days.

#4: Not dating your content

In general, you must update content if you want return visitors. People come back only if there's something new to see. This content needs to be dated, so that your Web site's visitors know what is new and in what order it appeared. Even in the rare case that Web site content does not change regularly, it will almost certainly change from time to time -- if only because a page needs to be edited now and then to reflect new information.

Help your readers determine what information might be out of date by date stamping all the content on your Web site somehow, even if you only add "last modified on" fine print at the bottom of every content page. This not only helps your Web site's visitors, but it also helps you: The more readers understand that any inconsistencies between what you've said and what they read elsewhere is a result of changing information, the more likely they are to grant your words value and come back to read more.

#5: Creating busy, crowded pages

Including too much information in one location can drive visitors away. The common-sense tendency is to be as informative as possible, but you should avoid providing too much of a good thing. When excessive information is provided, readers get tired of reading it after a while and start skimming. When that gets old, they stop reading altogether.

Keep your initial points short and relevant, in bite-size chunks, with links to more in-depth information when necessary. Bulleted lists are an excellent means of breaking up information into sections that are easily digested and will not drive away visitors to your Web site. The same principles apply to lists of links -- too many links in one place becomes little more than line noise and static. Keep your lists of links short and well-organized so that readers can find exactly what they need with little effort. Visitors will find more value in your Web site when you help them find what they want and make it as easily digestible as possible.

#6: Going overboard with images

With the exception of banners and other necessary branding, decorative images should be used as little as possible. Use images to illustrate content when it is helpful to the reader, and use images when they themselves are the content you want to provide. Do not strew images over the Web site just to pretty it up or you'll find yourself driving away visitors. Populate your Web site with useful images, not decorative ones, and even those should not be too numerous. Images load slowly, get in the way of the text your readers seek, and are not visible in some browsers or with screen readers. Text, on the other hand, is universal.

#7: Implementing link indirection, interception, or redirection

Never prevent other Web sites from linking directly to your content. There are far too many major content providers who violate this rule, such as news Web sites that redirect links to specific articles so that visitors always end up at the home page. This sort of heavy-handed treatment of incoming visitors, forcing them to the home page of the Web site as if they can force visitors to be interested in the rest of the content on the site, just drives people away in frustration. When they have difficulty finding an article, your visitors may give up and go elsewhere for information. Perhaps worse, incoming links improve your search engine placement dramatically -- and by making incoming links fail to work properly, you discourage others from linking to your site. Never discourage other Web sites from linking to yours.

#8: Making new content difficult to recognize or find

In #4, we mentioned keeping content fresh and dating it accordingly. Here's another consideration: Any Web site whose content changes regularly should make the changes easily available to visitors. New content today should not end up in the same archive as material from three years ago tomorrow, especially with no way to tell the difference.

New content should stay fresh and new long enough for your readers to get some value from it. This can be aided by categorizing it, if you have a Web site whose content is updated very quickly (like Slashdot). By breaking up new items into categories, you can ensure that readers will still find relatively new material easily within specific areas of interest. Effective search functionality and good Web site organization can also help readers find information they've seen before and want to find again. Help them do that as much as possible.

#9: Displaying thumbnails that are too small to be helpful

When providing image galleries with large numbers of images, linking to them from lists of thumbnails is a common tactic. Thumbnail images are intended to give the viewer an idea of what the main image looks like, so it's important to avoid making them too small.

It's also important to produce scaled-down and/or cropped versions of your main images, rather than to use XHTML and CSS to resize the images. When images are resized using markup, the larger image size is still being sent to the client system -- to the visitor's browser. When loading a page full of thumbnails that are actually full-size images resized by markup and stylesheets, a browser uses a lot of processor and memory resources. This can lead to browser crashes and other problems or, at the very least, cause extremely slow load times. Slow load times cause Web site visitors to go elsewhere. Browser crashes are even more effective at driving visitors away.

#10: Forgoing Web page titles

Many Web designers don't set the title of their Web pages. This is obviously a mistake, if only because search engines identify your Web site by page titles in the results they display, and saving a Web page in your browser's bookmarks uses the page title for the bookmark name by default.

A less obvious mistake is the tendency of Web designers to use the same title for every page of the site. It would be far more advantageous to provide a title for every page that identifies not only the Web site, but the specific page. Of course, the title should still be short and succinct. A Web page title that is too long is almost as bad as no Web page title at all.

Achieving success

These considerations for Web design are important, but they're often overlooked or mishandled. A couple of minor failures can be overcome by successes in other areas, but it never pays to shoot yourself in the foot just because you have another foot to use. Enhance your Web site's chances of success by keeping these design principles in mind.

About

Chad Perrin is an IT consultant, developer, and freelance professional writer. He holds both Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and is a graduate of two IT industry trade schools.

55 comments
k07xs8c02
k07xs8c02

Nice to see that this discussion is still going on in 2009. I begin to wonder if this list can be limited to 10, or whether it needs to be "the CURRENT 10 most-common ...". Anyway ... My candidate is: Making your web site require a larger browser window than the user chooses to (or must) use. Sometime in the past year, it has become commonplace for web sites at least to look silly and at worst to be unusable because this text or image overlaps some other text or image, UNLESS I resize my browser window to something larger than I really have room for on my 3-year-old monitor. (Zowie! ANCIENT technology! Go spend money on a new bigger monitor! Sure.) In fact, I've encountered a number of sites that don't display properly even if I maximize them to my full screen (1280x1024). When I first started programming in HTML ... well, there *were* no "best practices". ;-) However, it wasn't long before one "best practice", borrowed from other programming environments, came to the fore: DEGRADE GRACEFULLY. It's not that hard to construct sites that will fit into nearly any window site. They won't look as pretty, but they will be readable and they will *work*. Making a web site that displays your brand identity so perfectly that it cannot be viewed properly except at maximum size on the latest/biggest/fastest technology and the fanciest software (Flash/Java/etc) say a lot about your company's attitude toward customers and clients.

smoovious
smoovious

Explicitly specifying the background color, while leaving the foreground/text color the system default. Most webmasters don't seem to think of this, thinking that their black text, will always be black, since they don't tend to bother using anything but the system default theme. Ever try reading light cyan text on bright yellow background? When you create pages, look at them using other themes with different system default text colors, to clear up these problems. Also... continue to make link colors different. We can't stand waiting for the same pages to load over and over while we're searching a resource for information, simply because the webmaster makes visited and unvisited links the same color. -- Smoovious

dbecker
dbecker

The two sites which give me the greatest grief are: ibm.com hp.com beyond that, I'm not sure Sony and a lot of other companies do a good job helping people find what they are looking for. [IBM trainers encourage people in their classes to use Google instead of the IBM search engine!] I've spent the last year studying this question and have found some very good solutions using css and more professional products. May I say that after using Frontpage and the Expression Web, I've finally bitten the bullet, broke down and gotten Dreamweaver CS4. Beyond that, I've also gone through most of the cms products on cmsmatrix.org to find something viable and settled on a very good developing open source product produced by some very dedicated developers. In the nuts and bolts of things, making a good drop down menu which works in all the browsers is a real challenge. I finally settled on material found at Tanfa [http://ago.tanfa.co.uk/]. It is css, seems to work with all browsers for drop down and has some hacks for the Microsoft browsers [which have some incredible bugs in them]. As far as design is concerned, every professionally produced website should follow the Information Mapping principles laid down by Dr. Robert Horn, to wit, seven key points +/- two. Don't try to use more than nine major drop down navigation boxes at the top of the page. The Tanfa drop down pages are nested to a max of four levels. People can't remember and can't relate beyond nine for the most part. And you actually have to PLAN to aggragate similar things together logically (I know, I know, planning just ruins creativity). [By the way, I've been studying this problem and making websites, some professional, for over a decade.] Neat, clear, simple, explicit and logical. Ah, the question of liquid vs fixed. I prefer liquid, but be careful to make certain changing font sizes don't muck you up. And as for how many columns you have, no more that three -- and that's pushing it. Two is better and one usually is unhelpful. Generally, lower level links should be in the left column for a group of pages. Liquid allows for more or less material depending upon the client's preference. The different columns should have different background colors to differentiate them, especially in the liquid layout arena. I will be working with the cms folks to integrate the drop down menus with the liquid layouts. Using a cms does help a great deal with layout. Once it is set, you can concentrate on content and not keep mucking about with page design. Beware, though, to make certain that you have a way of backing up the mysql, sqlite or postgresql databases [unless, of course, you plone everything]. If something gangs aftly [and it will only if you are NOT prepared], you need to restore that content. CMS is most useful with multiple submitters and editors -- and often will resolve issues of searches, format and navigation as pages are added to the mix. Just make certain the cms is seo friendly. At this present moment, my websites are not up to date and I'm positioning myself for a rollout next month as a particular personal community based project comes to fruition, otherwise I would give you an example, which, sadly is still a work in progress. All of the points given so far are useful and I will incorporate them into my rollouts next month.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Thanks for the great article. I'd like to mention my number 1 pet peeve in regards to web sites. I hate a page that forces me to use the scroll bar to read one tiny little detail or click a button. I know that sometimes a page has a legitimate need to expand beyond the screen, but forcing me to scroll down or to the right just a tad to click something just irritates me to no end. With just a tiny bit of effort, the designer could get everything on the same screen. When designing a web site that would be a priority for me.

avinashmudunuri
avinashmudunuri

* Check for the browser compatability. * Check for the designing rules that should be followed such as Thumb rule etc.

jgw321
jgw321

If you use absolute positioning in CSS then you must allow for resizing of text in the browser. So many "proffesional" sites with fancy layouts break when you increase the text size from their 8pt to something that is readable, as the images and the text run over each other. It can be done, I have seen it, but not on many web sites.

MadestroITSolutions
MadestroITSolutions

I often see sites out there that have tons of "kewl" stuff but when I try to use it, nothing works, or I get a bunch of JS errors, server errors, broken links, etc. In my personal opinion, people need to balance out how much effort they put in the looks and how much effort they put in making the website actually do what it is supposed to do. I like keeping my pages as simple as possible, while still retaining a compelling look. This way I ensure my users have a pleasant experience, understand how they can benefit from my services and keep coming back. I mean seriously, what good is a site where you have to click out those annoying error boxes (if debug enabled in browser) or repeatedly try something that doesn't work?

bggaudreault
bggaudreault

Sadly, #4 and #5 aren't avoided often enough. Here are some other common issues that people should be aware of: ??? Providing Contact Info & Street Address - First, provide multiple ways to get in touch with you like telephone and e-mail address, not just a mailing address. When you provide directions to your facilities, make sure you actually include a mappable street address of the entrance to your location besides providing your own directions. ??? Check For Cookies - If your website requires cookies for functionality, make sure you first check to see if cookies are available so you can return an error message about cookies instead of just living your website un-operational and unpredictable. Also, when you put up an error message about cookies, please make sure you give users an option on how to setup their browsers to utilize cookies: First I would say they could just allow cookies, specifically "session cookies" if they don't have an option to save their login info to your website, and also give them a list all of the domain names that they can manually add for your website so they don't have to accept ALL cookies which is less secure than manually adding cookies. If possible, avoid using cookies. ??? Make Privacy Policy Easy To Find And Read - Make sure you have a "to-the-point" in layman's terms and easily accessible privacy policy. ??? Make Downloads Easy To Find And In One Location - Make downloads easy to find and download from your website with system requirements (OS versions and hardware and software) clearly listed before download and also on the download page that you view as the download is in progress. ??? List Full Technical Specs And Details And Provide A Comparison Matrix - While you probably don't want to put this on your main product page, you should have an easily identifiable link on your website for people that make decisions based on technical specs. ??? Provide A Non-Flash Version Of Your Website - Too many times a whole website requires flash to be used, which should not be the case if you're having Flash problems, don't have Flash installed, or can't support Flash. ??? Make Simple Features Accessible To Mobile Browser Devices - People make simple functions like "contact", "search", "store finder", "map & directions", "schedule", etc... accessible from mobile browsers as well to let people lookup info quickly and reliably when a thought pops in their mind while they are away from a "traditional" computer browser. ??? Require A Login For Advanced Functionality Only - Logins should only be required for more personal options and not simple options like looking up contact info!

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I hate navigation that isn't clearly labeled. Look, this isn't an art project, it's a way for me to get information from you. Hell, minimal is better...faster load times, cleaner, and better able to work with multiple browsers. Oh, and CSS > javascript in MANY cases. How NOT to build a site: http://www.goodbysilverstein.com/creative_mind/ http://www.94rock.com http://www.usabilitynet.org/home.htm (requires flash...apparently somebody isn't following their own rules) Best URL ever: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/ (good page)

Justin James
Justin James

You hinted at it, but usability is key. I don't care how good everything else is, if you use 8 pt. Times New Roman on a site that is aimed at senior citizens, it will be a miserable failure. :) Great item nonetheless! J.Ja

ilona2046
ilona2046

Simple tips known by all but the ones that should be always kept in mind! thanks for remindin! ----------------- Flexible houses

jannelund
jannelund

Why not just say, make the page structured, pleasant, thought-through, usable, concise, efficient and good.!

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Then the site gets copied or uploaded to the search engine.The way that I see it is that the computer that you used to design your site could go off line and your site would still work because it is recorded to the ISP search engine as a link. http://smallbusiness.att.yahoo.com/webhosting/index.php

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Ask your ISP or whoever your site will be in if you need any special equipment or software before you design.Then when you have problems NAIL HIM!

brian.mills
brian.mills

This list (and the original article it was derived from) are great guidelines. I'm starting to work on a website for my wife's photography, and I'm trying to make it as interesting as possible without getting too busy, as well as being able to display her previous work for potential clients without clogging up their internet connection loading the images. I have one question about web design though: What is (are) the current acceptable method(s) of posting contact info, such as email addresses, so that legitimate users can easily use it without suddenly finding an inbox full of spam?

MadestroITSolutions
MadestroITSolutions

of how many so called "professionals" out there don't know the difference between px, em, pt, percentages, etc in font sizes and when to use them.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I've seen people who spend hours on a windows gui, and then .. Use a different resolution, colour depth, theme, dpi (the old large and small fonts) and it looks like it was designed by a moron. These fools design it on their settings, small font on big monitor. They spend hours lining it up to the n'th degree.... Absolute everything or relative everything. On absolute size you lose options, on relative you lose control. On a mixture you lose both. Got to pick one.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Too many people try to turn their web pages into art projects and REFUSE to believe that people just want a simple site where they can find the information they are looking for.

jgw321
jgw321

He complains of "someone working on an engine, smiling; " etc, but these can be delivered in HTML just as well as in PDF. He confuses form and content himself. I know you said it is wrong to use PDFs for content and I agree since browsers display PDFs rather poorly, but he thinks that PDFs are bad per se.

Jaqui
Jaqui

anything but (x)html being sent to the browser detracts from usability. TR uses pdf files, as downloads not as content, so we can't honestly say they are guilty of that particular infraction on usability.

DanLM
DanLM

By the way, you should have listed off any of the following to show how not to design a navigation menu. Microsoft's website any government website dan

wgraham969
wgraham969

People do a lot of things for "impact" and completely discount the fact that a significant number of people might not be able to discern their site at all. Visitors to some very striking sites, are unable to appreciate fully the site, simply because they can't see it. Defective color vision can greatly hamper a visitor's ability to enjoy, or fully use, a web site. Nope, not color blind--DEFECTIVE color vision. I see lots of colors, but I have problems with reds and greens, and their derivatives. For example, if you use small red font on a black background (or, vice versa) chances are good that I'm not going to be able to see your content at all. I've seen that more than any other unreadable color combination. So, before you put black text on a red button that says "BUY NOW", stop to consider if you want people to be able to make that choice. Other bad color combinations??? Orange or red with green; red or blue with purpl-ish; green or red with brown. Different combinations are bad, depending on the type of defective color vision (red/green deficiency is the most prevalent). If you absolutely MUST use those combinations, make the text as big and bold as you can. Small point in a delicate font guarantees to be unreadable. For what it's worth, if I happen across one of these unreadable sites, I bail out. It's not worth my time (and eye-strain) to try to coax meaning and understanding out of a monotone blob when--usually--I can find another site that I don't have to fight with.

DanLM
DanLM

If any site uses 8pt anything, I blow it off unless I absolutely need it. Then I press ctrl + a few times so I can read the damn thing. By the way, my other suggestion. SIMPLE NAVIGATION. Screw the fancy crap. Make it easy to navigate, the navigation follows an easily understandable path, and you can work your way back through the navigation easily. I hate bloody web sites that I have no idea which link to choose to get to the point I want to be at. A site tree is a nice addition also... List out all the links if someone wants to navigate that way. Dan

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Also, many sites don't take into account other accessibility issues. The blind or vision impaired can have major issues with an all flash site, if there isn't an alternative. Also, keep in mind, not everybody can hear your auditory cues...some of us have our speakers off or you could have those that are deaf browsing your site.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Some say that your site loads to one of the 13 root servers,I say that it loads into the Government Torrent.You might have better luck with a site right in an ISP.Back up your work always keep copies of your site probably on a CD.Do not let anybody else in your site.When you go on line make certain that your site appears exactly the way that you designed it.Contact box,feedback and e-mail addresses are very important and should be prominently displayed on the first page.Corporate photos or slide shows are great.This site is your company's advertising no illogic here.Advertising works when you're not there.Ask hard questions like:"Why does my site load so slow".

speculatrix
speculatrix

can't believe article didn't say to use meta data in the doc header! i.e. meta name="description" content="...." meta name="keywords" content="...."

apotheon
apotheon

I didn't know TR had republished this article in the 10 Things weblog, so I had no idea this discussion was started. Sorry about the late response. "[i]What is (are) the current acceptable method(s) of posting contact info, such as email addresses, so that legitimate users can easily use it without suddenly finding an inbox full of spam?[/i]" Like DanLM, these days I just use a contact form on the website so that my email address is never sent to the web browser at all. It stays safely on my server.

DanLM
DanLM

I sugest a form where your email address is never seen. Freaken bots spider through the damn web and spam the hell out of you. You could also use a gif/jpg/png file where the email address is on that. Just be careful. God, I'm still receiving spam from the last time(years ago) when I built a web site with my email address on it. Dan

iamdeirdre
iamdeirdre

There are plenty of ready made JavaScript ways out there that can protect your contact information from spam robots. A low-tech way to stop your phone number or email from being crawled is to post an image of the email address, or use the numeric version of a letter. Like so @ = @ (in the html) so: info@yoursite.com = info@yoursite.com It may fool some of the spiders. Just not all.

seanwal111111
seanwal111111

It takes ages to load the text in these discussion forums. I don't intend to be revisiting the forums again any time soon because it's just to painful to sit here waiting several seconds for your UI to load a mere small amount of text.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I refuse to post my resume in any other format....Not to mention that it does make it easier for the...uh..."special" users.

rclark
rclark

And on purpose. I know of no other method of publishing rapidly changing content where the creators are rank and file users and the publisher must insure accurate printing fidelity is maintained. So I use adobe Acrobat to do that. Sorry, but with my limited user base, the solution fits and works. It has reduce printing costs to almost nothing, it keeps us from having 40 copies of manuals and it serves the need of the user base by being always on and available. Change control is done using the source documents, so no problem with reproducing a pdf if changes are needed. So for my application, it works.

Justin James
Justin James

The decision on the MS site baffles me... Office 2007 collapsed and mostly removed menus because they were confusing. Then they add zillions of menus to the site. Huh? Microsoft's site, particularly MSDN, gets worse and worse. It's because these idiots have AJAX, and they are not afraid to do it. AJAX is the new tag. J.Ja

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Who friggin' designed that mess? Not only can you NOT find the information that you want, I swear they hide it on purpose so you have to dig around and give up...

Jaqui
Jaqui

then a senile one? ;) I actually coded my own site for accessability, it's missing two items to meet that guideline, the skip to content link and the back to navigation link. I have had people who are stuck with dialup access because of their remote location [ boondocks USA ] that love it though, it actually loads fast for them. My styling code doesn't specify absolute sizes unless those are required. [ div positioning for header and content divs ] Even the fonts are styled with relative code, so whatever the visitor's system is set to will work right for them. It's not the best looking website, but it is functional.

k07xs8c02
k07xs8c02

The use of meta tags is not always possible, specifically on sites created by someone's clever web-site builder (not mentioning any names). Even if you have a shell account, and go in that way and edit the *htm* files to include them, they will get wiped out the next time you use the fancy editor. I wish the people who make those builder/editor things would read this "10 Things" post!!!

Justin James
Justin James

I do the same. I think the last time I willingly and knowingly put my bare email address on a Web site was around 2000, when the spam problem first started to become bad. J.Ja

catseverywhere
catseverywhere

That's exactly why I set up a "throw away" email account. I give this one out on any forms, forums or wherever required on the web. If I ever get any spam I delete the account and set up another one. The only pain is resetting all the memberships and other accounts to the new address. Though that is actually not always needed. I have a Mandriva forum account and I still get in despite having deleted the email account I used.

earcuffs
earcuffs

I prefer my customers see my email address which is also similar to my website address. It helps them identify with my site and online name. It is also on all of my promotional print literature. Although a lot of spam is received by my internet host, the spam filter they use catches 99% of it. I never see it, unless I log into my host and check on the blocked email. In four years I have never had a customer generated email get blocked so the spam filter works very well for me. And I still get to keep my personalized email address in the minds of my clients. Suggested hosting service:(http://www.powweb.com/join/index.bml?AffID=558057&LinkName=email Powweb)

SamirBeMad
SamirBeMad

Wish I had read that a few months back, although I confess - haven't gotten any spam yet...thankfully!

Jaqui
Jaqui

since most people use them as clientside scripts, when they run across browsers configured with no clientside your javascript solution just broke.

k07xs8c02
k07xs8c02

But then, I'm on FiOS. Moral: Design for other than the latest technology. (I'll have another post on that below.)

Tig2
Tig2

There is a link on every page to "View all posts". It will lay out the entire discussion for you so that you don't have to click each response. You can also reply from there. Hope this helps!

Jaqui
Jaqui

but they shouldn't be the entire content of a page, unless you specify that the link is to a pdf so that it can be downloaded to open in a full app that can read it, browser based reading kills screen readers with pdfs.

Jaqui
Jaqui

are they the page in it's entirey or are they downloadable files for reference? it's the using them as the page is where you cause problems for assistive technologies. [ I'm also guessing that these policy documents are for internal not global access ]

Jaqui
Jaqui

that not so subtle reminder that this is an international community and any comments that don't take the entire global web presence into account can be shot down easily. :) Though most government websites are not easily browsed when you are looking for something specific, the government of Canada by itself makes a claim of none inaccurate. [ I took 6 hours one day loking for information about environmental activities in zimbabwe, what a mess that collection of sites are ]

DanLM
DanLM

United States Federal or State Of Pennsylvania... I do appoligise. Dan

deity_chooch
deity_chooch

I don't know if I'd make that accusation. Yes, AJAX can be used incorrectly and end up annoying the user more than serving a decent function, but it can also come in handy and make web sites and web applications a lot easier to use or faster. The BLINK tag, on the other hand, did nothing but draw attention and annoy 90% of the viewers. The sad thing is, people actually still use the BLINK tag, even though it was deprecated years ago. I've seen the same thing with the CENTER tag as well.

Justin James
Justin James

... but it is truly hideous. Oddly enough, in an odd way, the last job I interviewed for, before taking the job I have now, was managing editor of the MSDN site (I lacked sufficient experience as an *editor* for the position, sadly). Beleive me, what happened there would have been over my dead body if I was in that position. It is a great site with great content, but the navigation has has always stunk and the redesign made it much worse, and it has always been too "busy"; critically useful information keeps getting put into sidebars that my eye (and everyone else's) views as "optional". Not to mention the color scheme, and font choices. Ugh. J.Ja

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

What is going on there? I mean, did anybody even bother to do any usability studies or even LOOK at the site?

Jaqui
Jaqui

knocking those who design sites that don't take the speed of dialup into concideration, not those who have to use dialup. There are more people using dialup than using high speed in the world.

ortleybeach
ortleybeach

Jaqui, I do live near 'boondocks' USA and actually do connect via my local dialup access company. But not as my primary Internet access point as I use DSL for that. But I still connect via dialup to test my website code to see how it loads under a slower connection. It helps as I can see where the page slowed down versus if via broadband, everything loads so fast that I often can't point to a feature to say that's the bottleneck. Not that big of a deal on broadband but if you think about it, on a large scale, if millions of people are hitting my site, I do want as small of a footprint as possible so that performance remains good. ...wishful thinking on having millions of people!! By the way, 10 miles from my house and nobody has cable or DSL. It's mostly boondocks but people still have their Internet access needs and dialup is it. Jack

speculatrix
speculatrix

google mail allows the appending of +tag which makes giving out unique emails easier e.g. userxyz+techrepublic@gmail.com userxyz+cnet@ all end up in the same mailbox, only now you can filter on the tag. you can now give out a unique email address only problem is that some websites don't understand "+" is valid in an email address :-(