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Thread: 4 Website Design Suicide Tactics!

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    Email problem derekjay's Avatar
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    Post 4 Website Design Suicide Tactics!

    Your website is your online ambassador which provides an information portal to all of your prospective customers. As with anything, there is always a right and a wrong way to do things, and doing the wrong things when it comes to the design of your website can mean online suicide! Here are some of the key mistakes to avoid:

    Flash Overkill

    When flash first hit the scene, it was hugely popular, and to be honest, it looked really good. But, as with many new inventions, it became overused. Whilst flash is still acceptable on a website, try to refrain your use to purely graphical elements (slideshows, product images, etc). Flash is unreadable by Google, and so the impact on your search rankings could be devastating if you're placing all your beloved content into a flash element. Approach with caution and use in moderation…

    Pop Ups / New Windows

    One of the favorite marketing tools of "adult" sites are those annoying little things called pop ups. Whilst most browsers have now eradicated this problem in terms of unprompted pop ups, some websites still insist on opening new content in new windows (pop ups), generally with good intentions. This is a bad idea for two reasons:

    1. It's annoying – no one likes them because they cause clutter and remind us of spam

    2. It breaks the "back button chain" – think of how many times a day you use the back button on your browser. Quite often I'm sure. Using pop ups or new windows makes using the back button impossible, and will most likely result in the visitor leaving your site. No good.

    Introductions & Music

    I've grouped these two together because they generally appear together, but they are just as "evil" in isolation. Introductions are generally just plain annoying. In today's fast paced life, users want to get to the most relevant information as quickly as possible. Don't annoy them with delay tactics for the purpose of looking "cool". If you absolutely must use an introduction page, be sure to include a visible "Skip Intro" button.

    Music on your website is simply a no-no. Not only does it slow down your website and provide no real benefit to the user, but it is also quite likely to annoy them. Browsers often have their own music playing in the background, which will simply be interrupted by your website's music. Once again, if you absolutely must use this feature, be sure to offer a "Music Off" button.

    No Display of Price

    This is always a tricky one, but very important nonetheless. Whilst displaying pricing online is completely normal (and required) for consumer type websites, business to business (B2B) websites seem to avoid it, and cover up by mentioning something along the lines of "customized solutions". Whilst this may be true for some business, you should always aim for the greatest level of transparency possible.

    The benefits of listing pricing on your website (even if only in the form of "From $ X.99") include, but are not limited to:

    • Increased trustworthiness (you obviously have nothing to hide, and charge all customers equally)
    • Fewer enquiries from unqualified prospects (bargain seekers, etc)
    • The ability to create an online ordering process (such as a checkout cart)
    • Differentiation from your competitors (if they're hiding their pricing)


    As you can see, having a website is much more than just uploading an online brochure to the web. To really get the most out of your site, you need to follow the "rules". Marketing online has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but implementing the best practices and avoiding the "suicidal" mistakes will ensure that you get the most out of your website.

  2. Thank given for this post:

    AndyD (20-Oct-10), Chatmaster (21-Oct-10), Dave A (20-Oct-10), G Robin (20-Oct-10), IanF (20-Oct-10), wynn (21-Oct-10)

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    Full Member G Robin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Website Design

    Hi Derek

    Very Good Points, just now i hit a pop-up and ..what I do ..simply hit the back button..

    One thing also is, the upload time of websites...it's frustrating

    Thanks
    Gino

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Derek
    Great article, thanks for the insight.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Great article, Derek. But I've got some questions on one of your points.
    Quote Originally Posted by derekjay View Post
    Pop Ups / New Windows

    ...some websites still insist on opening new content in new windows (pop ups), generally with good intentions. This is a bad idea for two reasons:

    1. It's annoying – no one likes them because they cause clutter and remind us of spam

    2. It breaks the "back button chain" – think of how many times a day you use the back button on your browser. Quite often I'm sure. Using pop ups or new windows makes using the back button impossible, and will most likely result in the visitor leaving your site. No good.
    I'd say pop unders are the most irritating; bordering on criminal disrespect even. Now that's spam! But is it commercial suicide if it's improving conversion rates?

    My second question probably isn't as controversial, but I'd appreciate opinions. Navigation and internal links on TFSA open in the same window/tab. However external links in posts do open in a new window or tab (depending on the settings in your browser).

    My thinking is once you've done reading a thread you're moving on. However, if you're following a link in a post there's a good chance you might want to come back and either finish reading the thread, or even post a reply. My habit is to pop back to the thread tab or close the followed link tab once I've read that content.

    However, that's just me and my thinking.

    What would the members prefer? Same tab/window or new tab/window on links in posts?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    If I may add a little something to your list.

    Advertisement clutter.

    There is nothing more annoying then entering a sight with too much advertisement. It eats up speed and depending on the type of advertisement it can be offensive at times. Normally when a site loads and the first thing I see is advertisement I dismiss the sight.

    Video Clips.

    Video Clips can be informative but it is also bandwidth heavy thus a cap eater. So naturally when a 40mb video clips starts to load most “South Africans” will close the page and move on.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Email problem derekjay's Avatar
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    @ Dave's Questions

    1 - Yip, pop-unders are the new evil! Thanks for bringing them up (excuse the pun/oxymoron). The question around commercial viability vs the irritation factor is a tough one to answer, and I guess will vary from site to site. My concern is how many visitors do you lose due to irritation vs gain due to the pop-under facility...

    2 - My two cents on the external links opening in new windows - absolutely fine and good practice. I agree with your logic and have often times come back to the forum after visiting an external link. It's also just a good move from your side, so as to keep visitors on the site...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekjay View Post
    My concern is how many visitors do you lose due to irritation vs gain due to the pop-under facility...
    On the face of it, that's the devilish cunning in pop-unders - the browser only sees it when they're leaving anyway.

    However, it might affect your returning visitor rate maybe?

    Tough one, because that could break either way too, depending on your goals and strategy.

    Funny - the more I think about it, the more I wonder if some stuff that we just automatically classify as "irritating practices" are really all that harmful when you step back and look at the big picture.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem solweb's Avatar
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    Missed One

    Contact Details. Either left off completely or incomplete. Very annoying and a sure way to lose business.

    Pop ups - one maybe , but two or more and they are out to make a quick buck and not to be trusted!
    Michael Vella
    Web Presence Solutions - www.solutionsweb.co.za

  11. Thanks given for this post:

    derekjay (22-Oct-10)

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