1. Too much text
Some people put far too much text into their pages, and often don’t have margins or breaks between paragraphs. The result is a screen full of text – which is difficult to read. Use plenty of space around your text. It will look more attractive and be easier on the eye.
2. Bad colours
Combining coloured backgrounds with coloured text is dangerous. It can work if it is done with restraint – but many people are attracted to colours which clash and vibrate. For good results – ‘less is more’ is often the case so far as color is concerned.
3. Tiled backgrounds
Background graphics can often make text difficult to read. When a .gif file is tiled across a page, the resulting pattern often creates an effect which is visually disruptive. Use only very pale graphics.
4. Large graphics
These take up a lot of space, and can take a long time to download. People viewing your pages will switch off and go elsewhere. Shrink your pictures in a graphics editing package.
5. Long pages
Most people dislike scrolling through very long pages. They will often not read beyond 2-3 screens of text. The solution is to create separate pages, and put links between them.
6. Hit counters
These make any web site look very amateurish. If your web site is a hobby, you don’t need them. If it is commercial, you will not want to reveal this information. If you are determined to have one, it’s possible to make it invisible. You can record the ‘hits’ – but other people don’t see the results.
7. Animated graphics
These usually distract attention from what you have to say, and they generally look tacky. Unless they are very small, very subtle, and in non-conspicuous positions – leave them off your pages.
8. Garish colours
Your site will look cheap, amateurish, and vulgar if you use too many bright colours. The same is true of bad clip art and animated graphics. Yellow and blue starbursts against a speckly purple background will look naff. Leave those for the funfair.
9. To see a very funny and truly awful collection of bad taste designs, visit the following web site:
10. Well-designed web sites are often based on one of the most memorable slogans to come from the design profession – “Less is more”.
© Roy Johnson 2002