Frames were intended to facilitate navigation within a web site, however they usually end up confusing visitors more than helping them.
Frames break up the browser window with separate sub-windows. When clicking on an item to move forward, visitors are uncertain what information will appear where. And to make matters worse many framed web sites are designed on specific screen sizes. This can be very frustrating for a visitor to your site. When a visitor enters your site with a different sized screen, the data may not look the way the web designer intended it to look. If you insist on using frames, you should create an option to view the page without frames.
Some designers overload their websites with fancy scripts and tricks, such as input boxes, opening new browser windows, flashy backgrounds or background music. The first time a visitor sees these, it may be impressive, however, after a few more visits,
too much of this will be very annoying. It is best to limit using these on the main pages.
All good web pages are always under construction, but some web designers still insist on placing under construction images on their site. Designers add these images to excuse them from glitches on their page. Good web designers should not launch a site until the site is complete.
Using too many graphics on web sites slows the time it takes to load. In addition, large graphics can take several minutes to load, because the average computer user is using a 28k modem. Visitors may leave a site before the graphics load because they do not want to wait. When selecting images, include only graphics that add value to your site content. Images load faster when using height and width and ALT attributes. The ALT attribute allows web visitors who are using text based web browsers to view a short text description of the image. Because some users still cannot see pages graphically, a web site should not be overly dependent on graphics. If you use images to direct visitors to another page, you should include a text equivalent.
Designers get caught up in all the available fonts, and use all of them on the web site. Having too many fonts can not only be distracting but it some visitors may not be able to see these fonts. Because text needs to convey information, and not complicate it, good designers must limit themselves to the more popular fonts. Not all visitors have every font loaded onto their system. Also, when text is too small or too large, it is difficult to read. When emphasizing text, do not underline it, this makes the words difficult to read and may lead the visitor to believe this is a link. Highlight text by using bold, italics or different colors.
It is tempting to pick the flashy background styles, but these
should be avoided at all costs. A complex background may make a beautiful art piece, but it does a lousy job as a backing for text. It confuses the eye.
In this same vein, designers must remember to use contrasting colors for the background and the text. If a light text color is used on a light background, it will be hard to read, as dark text on a dark background will be hard to read as well. For web visitors unable to view graphics, text should be readable for them as well. Even if the designers have a background image, they must assign a background color for their site
that does not blend in with the text. For users who can see graphics, it will not make a
difference because they will see the background graphic, and for users who cannot see the background graphic it will make all the difference in the world. Remember, type must always be readable.
Designers must never include more than one or two page elements that move constantly. Moving images have an overpowering effect on vision and distract the
viewer from observing any other elements. These misused moving elements include
animated graphics, blinking text, and scrolling marquees.
All web pages should include a clear indication of what site they belong to.
Some users may access a page indirectly without coming through the main home page. For the same reason, every page on a web site should have a link returning to its home page.
Pages should be user-friendly. An index or menu helps the web visitor find the desired
information. To support simple navigation between the pages on a web site, designers
should use a similar layout between one page and the next.
The internet is starting to become a large entanglement of meaningless information. Many pages say nothing more than "This is my home page," with a collection of links that connect to the same collections of sites as the last page the web visitor just
viewed. The real key is content. Before any site is created, its designer should have something to say.
Some people have too many things to say. Many small business pages also include hobbies and facts about their employees. Although personal information can be interesting, it does not belong on a business web site. It is unprofessional.
Personal web sites can also run into the difficulty of mixed motifs. Some web designers start out by saying their name, and then talk about the company they work for, and then their pets, and then how much they like scuba diving,
etc. This information is unfocused and scattered, and does not display well on a web site. The web designer's solution is either to focus on one topic or to create a menu page that includes links which bring the visitor to separate pages for each topic.
Meta tags assist search engines in cataloging your site.
belong in the HEADING of your document. You should always include a meta tag
with your keywords and key phrases, the title of your document and a relevant
description. You will be most successful when your title, your meta tags and
your documents information agree. The keywords you should use depend on the
content of your page. Your objective is to use words which people are likely to
type in when searching for information that your page contains, so your site
will come up with a good position in their search results.
With the discouragement that some web designers receive after realizing how hard it is to create a good web site, they become negative and insecure towards their page and
themselves. This frustration causes numerous designers to put negative comments about their pages.
Even though statements such as "This is my stupid page" may help the web
designers feel less embarrassed about their web pages, negative statements make the site worse. Most web visitors are turned off by this approach. If the page's own designer thinks the page is stupid, why would any one else want to see it?
Having awards bestowed on your web site, not only
gives you recognition, but can generate traffic too!
Content is by far the most important element on any web page. If the page says nothing, the web visitor will leave. By avoiding these
mistakes, web designers can use design as a tool to enhance their sites' content, rather then distract from it.