Annotated Bibliography 2
What not to do on the Web: an online primer in ‘Web Sites that Work’ by Roger Black.
Here, Black talks about what one should not do on the web. He lists 10 points. They are:
(1) Don’t repurpose – Add value to your web site and customize it for that purpose; do not exclude any valid information that you can use to improve it for the web environment.
(2) Don’t confuse the viewer – Have a certain amount of consistency in your page. Do not overuse colours and icons for their novelty and let viewers feel that they have lost their orientation.
(3) Don’t confuse the viewer (part 2) – Make your navigational directions and buttons clear so that they will not get lost in your site. Once that happens, they will never come back and visit your site again!
(4) Don’t make oversize pages – more than 50% of computers have 13-inch monitors. As such, design for 480 by 640 pixel monitors!
(5) Don’t design pages that require scrolling – Let’s face it: People are more likely to click on buttons for more options than to scroll their way down the entire document or page. Also, smaller chunks of information will appeal more to the reader than lengthy pages. Just think about your own surfing experience…
(6) Don’t use big, slow graphics – ‘the only acceptable delay is no delay’. How true this sentence indeed is! If you keep your viewers waiting, they’ll most likely never come back again. After all, who needs to come to your web site and wait a million years for the same information that they can get elsewhere for just a few seconds wait?
(7) Don’t use a lot of colours – ‘monochromic pages run faster and look better’. Many people get carried away by all the colours, such that it overrides the information that they originally want to present. The idea is to separate your site from all the clutter out there! (not blend in with it!)
(8) Don’t use blurry drop shadows – do not use this on every button and every speck of display type!
(9) Don’t have a lot of text – ‘nobody reads anything anymore’. People are too busy to have the time to read through everything you have written, unless of course it serves a specific purpose (e.g an electronic journal), or is for a specific group of readers. After all, web browsers skim and surf.
(10) Don’t use tiny type – as it is, many of us find it more straining on the eyes to have to read off computer screens, so, do yourself and your readers a favour by making everything bigger and easy to read! Also make sure that your type contrasts with your background. We wouldn’t want to be fishing out information from the background would we?
It was enjoyable reading this text because the points were so simply and directly brought across to the readers; there was no need to plough through pages and pages of text in order to pick out the main points. Although some of these points pertain more to the aesthetic quality and graphics of web page designing, I do believe that some of these points were recommended to us simply because it speaks something of the readers of electronic texts. As such, they will aid us in the way we write in the web environment. For e.g if we look at point seven which says: Don’t use big, slow graphics. I very much go with this idea. After all, everyone and anyone who has done surfing on the web will tell you their woes of having to wait so long for a page to download that they sometimes just forget about it altogether! I would recommend anyone who wants a run-down on web pages and have no idea, to read this book!