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Thread: Bad Practice

  1. #1
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    What in your opinion is bad design and/or promotion practice?

    Do you think it's wrong to design to specific resolutions, use URL redirection, code to non-HTML standards, etc?

    What other bad practices do you know of, have used before (if any) and the ones that make you cringe the most?

    Hopefully this thread will help us become better designers and promotion experts.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I work hard at a design for hours. Everything looks good - then blam! Open Netscape and to look at the site there, which always seems to cause some sort of problem.....
    Shawn Ryder
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    E-mail: shawn.ryder@autouniversity.com

  3. #3
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    Well to avoid any display problems in either broswer I am constantly checking my webpage in both IE and Netscape. This helps to catch any surprises in how your page displays and also makes it easier to find the problem and correct it. I usually save every few minutes and then check it in both browsers. I find this the easiest way to deal with the cross-browser compatibility.

  4. #4
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    I have to admit, that when coding I hardly ever check the page using Netscape until the design is done and then I checkit in NS.

    My current site was not checked in NS until it was fully designed and when I checked it in NS it looked the same as in IE. Boy was I surprised

  5. #5
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    It's a relief to see that your site works as well in Netscape as it does in IE

    I think that, while not necessarily bad, a design practice I'd like to see toned down would be the use of pop-ups on entry to a site. Most of the time it's information about subscribing to a newsletter or mailing list, but as soon as I see a window open on entry, I instinctively close it! If you want to tell me the benefits of subscribing, give me a subscriber's page where I can sign up, read testimonials from others, and view back issues.

    I also don't care much for the use of Flash without an alternative. I see this so often on other sites, especially web design. As fantastic as it looks on screen, not all of us are blessed to have lightspeed connections!

    A bad promotion practice is believing those ads that say they'll submit your linke to a billion search engines for a reciprocal link. I avoid those like the plague

  6. #6
    cd /pub; more beer diacono's Avatar
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    <hmm> interesting one.

    i personally always check with ie and when i finish something concrete i check on nn. (the other reason is that nn clogs up my 32mb!).

    not so long ago i was making a site that i didnt check with nn and when i did i scrapped it

    why?? because all these feature where purely cosmetic, i though it wouldnt be worth it. but its a shame because i really liked most of those cosmetic bits.

    i suppose you have to balance the whole thing. sometimes i go and spend some time at a friend's 486 browsing the site with opera and a 14k modem... just so see how horrible it could turn up.

  7. #7
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I never check my sites in netscape before they are done. And there usually isn't any major problems.

    Netscape just forces you to right good code. If you remember to close every table/cell/row and remember that netscape wont render an empty table cell then all your netscape display problems should go away.

    Bad practice = getting a domain name with nothing to do with your site.

    ie http://www.romantic.com (go ahead, check it out) and they're a big company.

    Another bad practice is splash pages. Ie Click here to enter.

    guestbooks, animated gifs, etc on a business site is horrible

    using more than a few colors is horrible

    badly used frames... yuck

    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Flash intros are definintely bad practic - a few days out of each week I have to use an older computer which, despite use of IE, crashes at times when I try to skip intros. Very frustrating!

    I have no problem with designing for specific resolutions, however. I have resolved to ignore anything lower than 800x600. I'm still working on compatibiliy for higher resolutions, but havn't paid too much attention to Netscape.

    Overall, I check Netscape's rendering once the site is good looking in IE - my only goal is to make it legible.

  9. #9
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    I also dislike sites with Flash intros. I know Flash is supposed to be cool, but when I visit a site with Flash, I back out of there as fast as I close a pop-up box. When it comes to Flash, I really appreciate it when they give me the option of viewing the site in HTML. Most of my surfing is done at work and we have a cable connection, so speed isn't the reason I forego Flash sites--it's mostly the time factor.

    I am like most others in that I usually check my site in Netscape after it's done, but since the release of Netscape 6, I have learned the value of checking it as soon as my page template is done. Too many nasty surprises lately. I have been redesigning all of my sites (about six of them), so I can incorporate some CSS, and I was horrified at how differently my pages came up in Netscape 4.* versus Netscape 6. Netscape 6 looks more like IE 5.*, but a lot of the dynamic DHTML, JavaScripts, and Java Applets don't seem to work in 6.

    When I design pages, I usually design for 800x600 resolution, but I am conscious of the other resolutions and try as hard as I can to get my pages to look decent in lower/higher resolutions. Always a challenge. I thought Cascading Style Sheets would be my salvation, but alas I was wrong.
    Joanne Glasspoole
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  10. #10
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Fortunately, I am actually a Netscape user so I never get any surprises. I also check my sites in speech browsers, Lynx and Netscape 3. A really good browser to use for testing is Amaya which is the W3Cs own browser/editor!

  11. #11
    ********* Addict
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    That's surprising. When I am using a good speed connection, such as a T1 line, I usually like to check out the Flash intros. There is nothing worse than looking at a cheap and cheezy Flash intro, I'll admit, but to me seeing a GOOD corporate intro sort of thing is very impressive especially if it TELLS you a little something about the company.

    David | http://www.web-master.tv
    The place for web site owners is here.

  12. #12
    ComDude CryingWolf's Avatar
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    Well, like everyone else I hate popups... I hate it when you close the little freeking window and change a page on the same site and up it pops again...

    I don't care for banner ads that rotate i.e. they change as your reading the page... About.com does this and as your reading you keep hearing "click" Then you are busy looking for the popup, and lose your place!!! (you just know the browser is laughing at you)

    I don't usually check my site in NS. I have on my company laptop cuz NS happends to be on there. I would if it wasn't just a personal site I guess???

    I use NOF even though I can hand code with the best of them. That is just plain lazyness on my part. I just don't seem to want to spend that much time writing code.

    I mostly try to get my sites to work well on 800x600... I am usually pretty good about this as I use to work at 640x480... I even think my current home page will work on 640x480??? That is unintentional though

    I don't mind flash only cuz I enjoy playing with it and have a few flash site ideas. But I think you should always provide a way out. IE skip intro etc.

    I am not always concerned about the W3C like I should be. I don't really break the rules only bend them to make it work in the browser if need be...

    I am a strong believer in one scroll bar, please!!! So I don't like frames eventhough I use them or have used them... Which is ok for layout but remember make your header frame and say your menu links frame with no scroll bars!!! So I am still only looking at one scroll bar. I currently use an iframe on my site, and really it is the only scroll bar on the page, unless your browser vertical window size is less then say 425px...

    Late
    body { background:#000000; color:#000000 }
    HEY, WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?!?
    Easy come easy go!!!
    CryingWolf

  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru
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    I run away from Flash intros, too. I've developed a real dislike of them since they've proliferated so much. I had to look at a lot of them when doing research for a particular type of site, and it's true there were a couple that were really well done. But when you take into consideration both speed and usability, it really was only a couple out of dozens and dozens.
    The resolution thing is the toughest for me. I haven't been able to bring myself to really forget the lower resolutions, but it sure makes it harder to make a site look OK in the higher ones.

  14. #14
    imagine no limitations exbabylon's Avatar
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    Splash Pages suck! I hate them with a pashon, I loath them.

    Actually, they're not THAT bad on cool sites for the young generations, but for ANY kind of business, I think, BLAH.

    I also think that the resolution is a big thing to me. I tend to build sites for my clients that will work, and are designed to work in 640x480 and 16 colors. NS3 and IE3 are my browsers I make sites work in. I guess I'm just a loser, but I will work day in and day out to make a template that will work well in these browsers and low resolution.

    I like to have a good site that anybody can view. Call me synical.

    God Bless
    Blamestorming: Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

    Exbabylon- Professional Internet Services

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    wtg exBabylon,

    I think that you have the best ideology proferred so far. I too would love to design to such a tight spec, but alas it is not always possible if ya wanna be cutting edge.

    I do however always try to make sites viewable in 640*480, there are a lot of users still out there (let's face it, no-one has truly accurate statistics) and I consider it arrogant to alienate these people becuase they are not using the designers preffered resolution.

    Flash sites .....hmmmm...love em and hate em, depends on the design. I'm a little bit torn here - some days I hate "flashturbation" and think we should all simply conform to w3c and forget plug ins entirely, others I think - no, flash is the way of the future...tricky one. I do design flash sites, and am currently trying to make my own cure all, test if they have flash/frames/js capability sites that redirect (yes I know this involves making sites more complex and duplicating info, but surely that's just good design?)

    If anyone wants to help out or has such a "cure all" (I am by no means a web guru!!)

    Really bad habits:

    *Pop ups!!!!!!!
    *Disabling most scrollbars (how the hell do low-res users navigate?)
    *Using non web-safe colours for backgrounds
    *Making people provide personal data to use a site
    *Not providing "alt" text for images
    *Not optimizing image size (far too common still)
    *Not checking grammer and spelling


    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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    SitePoint Zealot Megs's Avatar
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    Mystery meat navigation is a big problem IMHO - mainly with Flash sites. I've come across way too many that I couldn't even figure out how to get into! It seems that a lot of flash designers either don't care about the user experience or misunderstand it, and that, IMHO is what this medium is all about.
    Megan Jack
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  17. #17
    midnight coder
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    You difinitely need to optimize images, when they're optimize, even some pretty big gfx loads pretty fast.

    Also, try not to use pictures for navigations, 'cos people have to wait for them to load before they can go anywhere.

    And finally, check you site with W3C's validator, and use their Tidy utility.

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    I hate a page in a popup. I'm usually doing twenty different things on my desktop at once and another window isn't helping me. At least design a same window alternative. You can get the same effect in a small frameset.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast smirk's Avatar
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    THE EVER POPULAR:

    Close one window and 15,000 new ones popup.

    EEEKK!!

    cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w cntrl-w

    And finally... restart.

    oops.. maybe I shouldnt be surfing for porn so much

  20. #20
    Irritability Defined
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    If you do go for porn (not that I do ) just switch off JScript and those popup windows are gone.
    My 2 Cents (or is that 2.2 Cents including GST?)

  21. #21
    Non-Member spdrcr's Avatar
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    Good tip!! LOL

    I think that these days the newbies think that they have to go with every free thing offered to make their site look good. For instance, the comet cursor, guestbook, poll, and anything else that is really stupid. The ones that learn flash and make extra long intros that are pointless..like...He rose out of the ashes its...pointless man...defending the web from all that apose. I mean come on...just get to the site.

    Right now, i'm tryin to make a church site, which this is something I haven't worked on for a few months, so I need to think of what they dont want to see, and what is just useless clutter. I think that everyone...even experts need to kinda look at the same rules for a site...

    1. Keep it simple(no one wants to spend a day and half scrollin through your main page)
    2. Lay off of the 30 or more animations or regular graphics.
    3. Flash intros are nice, but if you want to make a movie go to film school.
    4. Music is nice, but most people like to listen to their own...don't clutter your site with midi c***.
    5. Frames can be good if used the right way...if you get frame happy and put em everywhere people with 640x480 probably wont see anything.

    I took a class on web design..had to write a paper regarding web design. So I wrote mine on the do's and dont's of web design. If anyone wants to see it let me know..

    SR

  22. #22
    imagine no limitations exbabylon's Avatar
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    spdrcr,

    I'm also in the works of buidling a website for my church. We're going the full gomezz, sermons in Real Player, Newsletter, etc. I am just learning Flash, and have played around with the youth groups site... If you care to look... they're still under construction, and I have only got the basic templates up so far.

    http://www.hotl.net - main church site

    http://www.hotl.net/thecause - intro to youth group

    http://www.hotl.net/thecause/main.html - skip the darn intro

    God Bless, and let me know how the church site comes along.
    Blamestorming: Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

    Exbabylon- Professional Internet Services


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