I have been cleaning up an older website for a client the last few days, and, to be frank, it has gotten me in a bit of a cranky mood. I can’t help but be reminded of the reasons why your aunts cousins nephew should not design and program your website:
Animation when it is done well on a website or page can enhance the users experience of a page. How often does that happen? If you are lucky maybe one out of a 1000 times. You not only see it on MySpace but there are some very respected bloggers out there that have annoying animations on their website. As a general rule, don’t use animated gifs or flash.
Auto Play Music and/or Video
This used to be just music, but with the success of YouTube and other video sharing sites people often embed videos that auto play. Don’t get me wrong, I like embedded video on a site, but let me start them. I’ll watch it if I want to watch it. The same goes for any kind of music. Feel free to embed your podcast on your site, but let me start it. I could be talking on the phone and surfing and the last thing I need is your music starting up as soon as I hit your page.
Hard to Read Text
Do you want me to read your website? Do you actually have something important to say that you want me to see? Make your text readable. A decent font size, that is easy to read, and contrasts well with the background. I prefer black text on a white background, but white on black is good too. Just make the text readable.
Marquee Text and Blinking Text
This is like an animation and hard to read text all in one. Nothing like annoying your users. It starts to give you a headache after a little while.
I admit I am not the greatest speller in the world, but I do know how to use a spell checker. I might still get to and too mixed up but please spell check your website. Along with this please don’t use short cuts like you are instant messaging people. L8r does not belong on a website.
Please learn how to resize an image. There are so many free software packages out there that you can use to do this on your own computer. If you don’t want to install the software go and use one of the new online photo editing sites, like Snipshot. There is no excuse any more not to resize your images for your site. It saves on bandwidth, makes your pages easier and faster to load, and does not annoy people.
Why do designers still make these? If I am at your site I am looking for information, I don’t want to look at some nice pretty picture or flash animation. I see a splash page and I leave.
This is just me, I know that most people could care less about how people code their websites, but there are reasons why you are not suppose to use font tags, frames and tables (for layout that is) anymore.
Listen to the Professional
You are paying someone to create your website. They spend countless hours learning what works and what does not work on the Internet. Listen to them when they tell you a splash page, or animated graphics are a bad idea. Don’t tell them how to do their job. Designers and web programmers, listen to your clients. They know their business. It is our job to help them do what they do best, run their business.
If you want to see an abundance of these annoying things, head on over to MySpace. It will only take a minimum of five profile views to find every one of these annoyances.
Did I miss any annoyances? What website annoyances would you add to the list?