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Nowadays, anyone can create a web page.
It’s free and apparently simple. Just think a name, choose a platform -WordPress, Wix, Sqarespace … there are hundreds of them- download a template and start experimenting.
But to make it well made and attractive is another story.
Who has not been shocked to be dazzled by the strident colors of a poorly chosen web design or the unbearable music that accompanies it?
Or boring endlessly with endless forms and unintuitive systems that make you return all the time to the main page?
Or overwhelmed by the huge amount of information? Or confused by the little information? Or annoyed by the thousands of advertisements it contains?
There are many mistakes that can be made when creating a website.
But there is a page where you can find together the most common of them: “The World’s Worst Website” (Worst Website of the World ) * .
A notice for novice designers
It is practically impossible to navigate for more than two minutes through “The Worst Website in the World” without wanting to leave it. Especially, if you have the speakers connected.
A music from the Old West welcomes the Internet user, who must make a supernatural effort to avoid damaging his sight with the innumerable paintings, strident colors and different fonts that it contains.
The continuous movement of some texts and the animations do not help either; Everything is extremely noisy and confusing .
“This page was created to graphically illustrate the most common mistakes made by novice web page designers,” reads a text in Times New Roman at the top.
But its creators are not exactly newbies.
The site – available in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, French and Russian – is the work of the American designer Michelle Blowers and belongs to Angelfire one of the first free hosting services in the world (launched in 1996) through which they were created Pages like MatchMaker.com , the first online dating site, or Wired Digital, the current Wired.com.
Through its nasty design, it shows many of the failures that you should not have when creating a website. Take note:
1. Do not abuse frames
“The excessive use of frames is a common mistake made by web designers,” says Blowers.
“Many older browsers do not support frames, and they break into the flow of the web page , making it difficult to anticipate where a page will appear when clicking on a link.”
But what are frames? A way to insert several web pages into one through windows. And badly used can, effectively, spoil a good site.
The Danish engineer (and former Apple researcher) Jakob Nielsen , known as “the king of web usability”, came to say about them that “most of the time they suck” and are among the 10 worst design errors, especially if who apply them are new or inexperienced.
2. Use an easy navigation structure
“Where am I, and where are the links to other pages?”
“An easy-to-use navigation structure is essential for any well-designed web page! Important information should never be more than two clicks away,” reads the World’s Worst Web page.
3. More contrast between color and text
“There must be more contrast between the color of the text and the background color,” the designers explain.
Otherwise, the text becomes very difficult to read.
4. Keep the funds simple
“White and light colors are what usually work best.”
“The background should not divert the user’s attention from the content of the page, if you want to use a background image, choose an image with smoothing tones, or change the format of the image to ‘watermark.’ Choose colors for the text that contrasts well with the background image “.
5. Do not use too many animations
“When used excessively, the animations that are constantly displayed can distract the user,” say the specialists.
That is why they advise that “there should not be more than one animated element visible at any given moment, in this category the excessive, large, blinking and annoying ads fall.”
The same applies to excessive advertisements, aggressive pop-ups and other types of intrusive advertising, they add: “They annoy visitors, make the site difficult to use and drown the message that you want to convey in a sea of disorder ” .
6. Give the user control over the music
It is likely that visitors to the page do not enjoy the music.
The designers say it’s best to avoid it. But if you do not want to reach that point, at least give the user the option to do so.
“Make sure you tell the user how to turn it off, specify the number of times it will play, or add a command to HTML,” so you can press “Stop” in the browser.
7. Avoid the unnecessary
In the section “Unnecessary use of technology”, the designers explain that “the home pages that occupy and that make one wait for a long download without an option to jump, are torture , especially with a telephone line connection” .
8. Beware of false error messages …
“One of my biggest annoyances is the false error messages that trick novice users to open an ad,” says Michelle Blowers.
“A true error message does not move up or down with the page, the pointer will become (the icon of) a hyperlink ‘hand’ over the false error messages.”
9. … and with the spelling
If you do not pay attention to spelling rules, your page will look “immature and half-finished”.
That’s why it’s important to always do a spell check before posting.