13 Common Web Design Mistakes


Lessons and Expert Advice

Secrets to NET Success:

Get professional help with experience in web design
Spend the majority of your budget and time on site advertising
Create an Internet strategy that gets results... Plan -Plan -revise Plan
Have your graphics and photos pop-up quickly and draw interest
Do everything to get to the top of the search engines and seriously look into affiliate marketing to reach a wider audience
Turn your computer into a sales/lead -generating cash machine
Learn every trick to create an endless stream of targeted visitors to your site. We have a special section on site promotions ..click here

Maybe the adage "it takes money to make money" is even truer than ever.  The web promises almost free everything, from email accounts to web space. So, you might think, you have a great idea and since you can get all this free stuff, you can launch your business at almost zero cost....WRONG!

The guy who jumps out an alley offering Rolex watches at twenty bucks a pop doesn't have much
overhead.  But he doesn't engender much trust either, and only the gullible and greedy, hoping to make a quick buck, will bite.  Do you think people don't recognize that you are riding on that same free wagon, and will give you the same trust as that Rolex Guy?

In Y-2001 the easy VC money has dried up and all the CEO scam artists are seeing their perks & stock options disappear. Don't start a web site or ebusiness plan without a real sustainable budget and stay away from those high price web consultencies like MarchFirst who rape the clients and build sites that squander megabucks. The 240+ web sites IMS has launched all still exist and Get-in2 shoppers appreciate the fact that we feature here trusted merchants with real deals in all categories.
See our FAQ page for some real insight into Failed DotCom plans.

These 13 Common mistakes can help save you some money on hosting bandwidth charges and certainly will relieve you of the burden of managing site traffic. The list was started by Jim Wilson the administrator of www.Gethighforums.com and operator of www.jimtools.com for webmasters

"Let's face it. It is really hard to come up with new ways to fully irritate visitors to your site.

I thought I would share some ways that I have found to irritate visitors and drive them away thereby saving you money on your hosting bills. These tips are not in order according to their effectiveness, however #1 is by far the most effective. For 100% effectiveness, use any three of these techniques.

1. Install a script to disable everyone's right mouse click button. When someone tries to right-click, be sure to pop up a really insulting warning that accuses them of trying to steal your secret HTML code. Disabling the right click button will allow you to:

Keep the visitor from bookmarking your site
Keep the visitor from using the forward and back browser functions
Keep the visitor from opening your links in a new window
Keep the visitor from stopping a slow loading or hung page
Keep the visitor from using the Reload function to correct a display problem
Keep the visitor from printing your secret content
Keep the visitor from using such illegal tools as the Google site information tool

Admittedly the visitors can do all of these things with the buttons at the top of the browser, but maybe they won't know that and simply go away as you intended when you disabled their dangerous right-click button.

2. Create a really long page then starts playing your favorite song and put the stop and volume controls at the very bottom of the page. This will make sure they do one of the following:

- Listen to the entire song all the way through 5 times while reading your content, which proves them worthy of experiencing your site
- Try desperately to find the Stop button
- Go somewhere else to stop the song from playing.

3. Decide in advance what screen resolution your visitors must use in order to see your pages. It is absolutely a great way to drive them off when they have to scroll from side to side to read sentences of information. You can make this 100% effective by making your pages so wide that no monitor can display it.

4. The really professional irritator will not settle for just one obscure browser plug-in. Go for the gold. Use several bloated plug-ins that no one has already installed. This should drive away all newbies because they usually have no idea how to install even one plug-in, much less three. Experienced surfers will be glad to spend 20 minutes installing plug-ins to view your unique content.

5. When the visitor arrives at your site, be sure to pop up at least two ads behind their browser window and a minimum of two ads in front of their window. This will give them lots of options in where to go now that they have been sufficiently irritated to desire to leave right away. Even more important is the way you treat the occasional hard case that actually stays on your site after all of your efforts. When they leave, remind them to never return. Start popping up windows all over their monitor with windows that multiply every time they try to close them.

6.Webmaster Mike's tips and tricks for HTML pages Sign up to use a really slow-loading hit counter and put the button inside of a TABLE so that nothing appears until the hit-counter responds. This is possibly the best way to keep visitors from stealing from you as it keeps them from even reading your content and possibly typing it into their site from memory. For this to work reliably, you must avoid putting the height and width into the call for the hit counter graphic. You can improve the effectiveness of this technique by inserting not only a hit counter button, but a long string of banner exchange banners.

7. For the occasional visitor that inadvertently makes their way to your ezine subscription form, fear not. All is not lost. You can still rid yourself of them by asking lots and lots of personal questions. Don't just ask for their email address. Ask for their mailing address, phone number, sex, age, hobbies, religion, race and some other things best not discussed here. This technique works equally well when applied to your order forms and minimizes your trip to the UPS office to ship products.

8. Splash page. You gotta have a Splash Page. Lots of slow loading animation. If you can combine this with the requirement to download another obscure plug-in, you'll have hit a home run. I'm especially impressed by the many sites that have upped the ante to include two splash pages before you ever get to even the first word of content. Stunning! Brilliant!

9. Reconfigure the visitor's browser window. This will drive them crazy! People hate it when you run a script on your pages that expands the user's browser window to fill the entire screen and then do away with all of the browser Toolbar features such as the Navigation Toolbar and the Location Toolbar,

10. Finally, an oldie but goodie. Make your background dark and your text just a shade or two brighter. This makes it impossible to read your text and will rid you of visitors before they have a chance to clog up you server logs. If this is not possible on your site, use the alternate technique of putting most of your content in PDF files so that the visitor has to download them and launch another application. Very effective.

Another oldie, but goodie...and you can add your own favorites to the list

11. Under no circumstances include the price of your products on the same page as the description of the product. To satisfy the lawyers, you'll need to put the prices somewhere on the site, but a good hiding place is the Shopping Cart. Your customers will never think to look there because they want to know the price before they agree to buy.

12. Make especially sure your visitors remain clueless about the shipping charges until they have completed their order. Then they are overjoyed to discover the shipping charges are twice the cost of the product.

13. Be diligent in not revealing which credit cards you accept until visitors have gone through the first 3 screens of your checkout program. Don't forget to use redirects on your links from your home page! This is especially sucessful when the redirect provides no means of getting back to the page your visitor started at. Don't forget, they never wanted to explore any other areas of the site anyways.

  • Additions to list from Gethighforum's readers
  • Create really challenging links strategies. People love challenges. Have lots of pages that do not link back to your home page. This way they look around for a while, then resort to the back button. This works very well when people bookmark a page. Then they have to figure out a strategy for getting any more information from your site. And, by all means, do NOT put your navigation on every page--this blows the whole concept of challenge.
  • For additional challenge, make the links you do have on a page to pages that do not exist. People will giggle when they fall into that "404" trap, and they realize they were dumb
  • Never put your email address or 'snail mail' address on your site (especially not on a 'Contact Us' page linked from the front page). Nobody really needs to contact you, and they've got no need for the extra feeling of 'security' that a proper address provides. Same with telephone numbers.
  • Provide no method other than credit card payments for people to buy things off you. Checks/cheques are out-moded and should be oblished at once. After all, everybody has a credit card (especially in Europe)....
  • Make sure your site is colorful! Use vast expanses of super-bright colors that cause them to strain and squint. Give them that staring-into-the-sun effect, and use text colors that force their eyes to constantly readjust as they try to read your text. Remember, you are not giving them a real "Web experience" unless looking away from the screen causes their color perception to shift dramatically.
  • Use the above techniques to disguise the fact that you had nothing to say anyway and didn't bother to write much of anything. This can be dramatically furthered through the use of strategically placed flashing banners and images to distract them from reading.
  • Use really t-i-n-y type as a "design element." And use CSS to make sure they can't enlarge the fonts. The heck with trying to read it -- they should be admiring your sophisticated design!
  • all designers should have extra-large monitors set at stratospheric resolutions, and by no means should they ever test their designs on "normal" sized monitors and resolutions. After all, the Web is not about communication, it's about design.
  • Use enough JavaScript code to make even the most accomplished pro at Microsoft 'ooh' and 'ahh' in appreciation of your incredible programming skills. Be sure to combine sufficent popup alert boxes (with requisite nonsensical messages), scrolling DHTML news panels, slide out menus, rollovers, image swaps and script errors to create a veritable hodgepodge of aneurysm inducing effects which will have them running for cover -if not killing them outright.
  • ) Allow your visitors to sign-up for your "super smashing great" weekly newsletter, and then fill said newsletter with one sentence from you, a list of potentially interesting articles in the contents details, and then a tonne of advertising links the whole way down. But also include an "unsubscribe" link that, when clicked on, creates a pop-up window that does absolutely nothing...but feed up another banner.
  • My favorite is MOUSE TRAILS that pulsate and follow the user throughout the site! It has really worked for former clients driving users away from their sites. That is, if the revolving, dot-matrix clock telling me the local time in London didn't do it first!
  • Make sure that your only method of navigation is a Flash menu. Provide no other method of navigation (well of course, *everyone* has Flash don't they?)

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You Need Content, But You Want Graphics too!
article :
workz.com: Helping Small Businesses Grow And Prosper Online

We have all experienced the fight between good and evil: PC vs. Mac, Windows vs. Linux, and Explorer vs. Netscape. In Web design, we have content vs. graphics.

Which do you think is more important? My answer: It depends on the status of your company's brand and the motive of your site. Product oriented sites like this one definately rely upon both text and graphics to satisfy the shoppers need for information.

The importance of emphasizing content is quite obvious. The primary reason for building a Web site should always be to provide customers, or potential customers, with information or products of value. Further, insufficient content or poor use of content are the biggest mistakes you can make when structuring and designing your Web site. The info highway is displays content like no other medium!

Webmaster Mike's tips and tricks for HTML pagesIf content is so crucial, why do graphics matter? The answer is graphics build image, establish your company's brand, and attract new customers....and above all builds a feeling of visual trust. Site owners who mimic popular sites like Yahoo or Netscape will never be able to distinguish themselves without investing in a unique layout and graphics to go with a pleasing color scheme.

A recent eye-tracking study showed that people are by far most attracted to article text and article summary briefs. This data fuels the views of content proponents. But we cannot ignore the fact that photographs and graphics receive a large percentage of viewer attention and increase the chances of generating sales.

Web Page Element Percentage of People Viewing
Article text 92 percent
Article summary briefs 82 percent
Photographs 64 percent
Banner ads 45 percent
Graphics 28 percent

The numbers show that graphics should not be eliminated. Consider the following purposes for using graphics:

Company image. Use graphics to give the site a more professional look.

Company brand. People remember graphics and pictures, and will associate a logo or a style with your company.

Emotional impact. Pictures and colors can affect people psychologically and, therefore, if used correctly, lead to stronger and better responses to your site. Always consider what you want your visitors to think and feel as they click through your site. Design the site to ignite those thoughts and feelings.

Message clarification. Colors, lines, and other distinctive graphical applications help direct attention to your most important message to visitors.

Explanations. Used judiciously, a picture really can say more than words.

If your company and its Web site are relatively unknown and you are trying to attract new customers, graphics are a very important tool. If you were going clothes shopping, you would consider the quality of clothes that first attracted you by making a good impression. On further examination, if the quality were poor, you would not buy the clothes. It is the same with Web design. Visitors entering your site without knowing anything about your company must get a good first impression before they delve into the content.

When Not to Use Graphics

Never use graphics when there is no important reason for doing so. Graphics consume bandwidth, and used excessively they will not promote a good image of your company. Content is always going to be the driving force behind transactions through your Web site, so think of graphics as a way to make sure your visitors do not leave without going through the content.

To use graphics successfully, hire experienced professional graphic designers. Just make sure that they are customer-oriented and will be mindful of usability concerns, such as file size and average user modem speeds.

Think carefully about the image you want to project and design your site according to that image.

Make sure your use of graphics does not negatively affect the structure of the content.

Don't be afraid to borrow design ideas from successful sites. Experimentation with design is usually too much of a gamble. Professionally designed web sites should be more than just newspaper articles.

Finally, get the opinions of your friends, co-workers, and family. They are some of your best consultants.

Overall, content pundits may be right in praising content over graphics, but it is naive to overlook the power of good graphical layout to build a company image that will attract new customers. Please don't skimp on the designs of banner Ads which have to entice viewers to click through to a tastefully designed E-catalog.

Look to IMS for a professionally designed web site with a visual flair and attention grabbing content!
IMS Webmaster Mike ..read my Newsflashes on e-commerce

 

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