By Torri Myler
The Internet may be growing more and more professional as service and content providers vie for visitors’ attention, trying to secure a chunk of the expanding market for themselves, but there is still quite a lot of very bad practice in terms of online design. Admittedly, nothing compares to early 2000s when it comes to the number and prominence of poorly arranged sites and progress has been unbelievable since then. Web developers have evolved technologies that make it possible even for amateurs to set up decent Web property without having to go through extensive training or investing top dollar. There are online services that offer modular Web architecture that anyone can put together any way they want, no need to hire specialists. Yet, despite this sweeping headway, coming across web development horrors is not rarity if you are an active surfer, hopping from site to site on a regular basis. Here are ten things that would make up the worst website in universe.
One. The endless clutter of advertising. Everybody knows this is what powers the Web financially, but loading too much on a single page is an act of desperation, rather than a wise move of an online entrepreneur. Banners twinkling, flash ads flashing, pop ups springing out of nowhere, context ads running wild in the text, it can degrade an otherwise tolerable site very badly. And it is not only that people are unwilling to be exposed to commercial messages all the time, it is also aesthetically disgusting to look at, an endless distraction.
Two. Music you struggle to turn off. I could easily use the fingers of one hand to count how many websites which play tunes I have been to that made a good impression on me. It is totally excessive to rely on engaging sound for a lot of reasons. First, most people browse the Web in physical environments where music is either enjoyed from other sources or disallowed. Second, it is a major distraction from the core content. Third, websites have not developed ways of integrating turn off buttons too well within the site, so it is always a hassle to get rid of noise. Finally, music on sites tends to turn itself on in most unlikely moments, more often scaring visitors, rather than producing good feelings.
Three. I am instantly appalled by even the nicest web design in terms of visual presentation when the site owners do nothing to correct spelling, punctuation or other language mistakes. Imagine reading a morning paper and spotting a typo every second line or fingering a manual for a webcam that struggles with English. It is the same feeling of inadequacy when you stumble upon a website that extols a product in a language that obviously lacks professionalism. Not only does it look bad, most importantly it undermines you claim to being a reliable provider of anything. Not everybody has to be a walking dictionary or a Shakespeare for that matter, but if you do not know how to put together a simple informative text, consult somebody who does.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+