Hunters & Browsers
Push vs. Pull
Reach & Frequency
We are followers of the principle form follows function. Although attractive design is important to the success of your web page, functional design reigns supreme. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
Designing for professional equipment: Many web page designers have lightening fast Internet connections, huge monitors and top of the line graphics cards. What looks fantastic on their machine may look vile on average equipment. Find yourself a friend with an average connection and average computer to check out your site and make sure it is attractive to your customers. Tip: Complicated background graphics fragment 16-bit color monitors and can make a page illegible.
Relying exclusively on state-of -the-art-features: It's great to include the latest bells and whistles but many of your customers will not have the software and hardware to appreciate them. What if they can't run JAVA? Haven't installed Shockwave? Don't have a sound card? Make sure your marketing messages are at least accessible to them.
Not providing ALT tags: Heavy web users often turn off the graphics to speed their passage. What will they see when they look at your page? A string of indecipherable broken image icons? Make sure that every image has an alternative text string embedded.
Not identifying every page: Many people will enter your home page through a back door. They won't start at page one. Make sure that every page has a home button, your company identification and a way to get in touch with you.
Not complementing your corporate image: If you have a logo, a color scheme, a "look," carry it over to your web page.
Letting standards slip: Would you print a brochure with a big hole and a note that "we haven't written this bit yet? Would you ignore typos in a letter to a customer? Would you put a picture of Beavis and Butthead in your display ad? The Internet has the potential to reach more customers than all of your other other marketing efforts combined. Make sure that the image you project is professional and competent.
Design for print, too: Web pages have a secondary life on paper. People print web pages and give them to their cyberpeasant friends and family, or save them for future reference. Make sure you include low-tech ways of reaching you, such as a postal address, phone and fax, so that you can be reached by this secondary market.
Next Section: 10 blunders to avoid
Square 1 Internet
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