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Thread: The 5 Most Common Errors in Web Design

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    Default The 5 Most Common Errors in Web Design

    I think its only fitting that I created some of the most prevalant problems I see with people in web design. Although this list is not all inclusive. i think it represents some come ones.

    1. Assuming a WYSIWYG editor can create a great website
    Using a program to code your site will only result in jarbled code that no person or search engine, for that matter can understand.

    2. Slicing an image in Photoshop and exporting it as an html is "good enough".
    Photoshop does not know that using CSS you can repeat an image several thousand times, shortening the time a download takes.

    3. A certain software package will make me better.
    I have heard this one at to often, people believe that if they use a high end software package they can make sites that are wonderful, this is further from the truth.

    4. Tabled layouts are fine to use for site layout.
    Although tables have their time and place, DATA ONLY. Designers believe that using them is the best way to code a site. I believe this stems from 3 and partially 1, they use the software packages that created all the code for them.

    The best way to code a site is using DIV tags and CSS.

    5. So, I lied and could only think of four. I left space for you to comment.

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    Here are my five tips that people in this industry make...
    1. Website designed to use the latest technology rather than to achieve maximum results for the client.
    2. Websites designed by people that do not understand business and how business works.
    3. Websites designed by people that know how to use a particular open source solution but no little else of website design and internet marketing... these websites after a while all look pretty much the same.
    4. Websites that fail to deliver... a website should generate an income, if it doesn’t it is not successful.
    5. Websites that are not promoted or updated... and clients left high and dry once the website is finished... as professionals it is up to us to help our clients achieve success and not leave them with their new website not knowing what they should or shouldn’t do.

    As you can see I prefer not to focus on specifics such as tables or tableless designs... budgets and good working practise generally dictate this... the important thing all website designers should recognise is that they should be judged more on the results they generate (income) than anything else.

    Just my opinion of course.
    Last edited by SteveC; 02-13-2009 at 01:31 AM.
    Steve Cartwright
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    OK, Steve, you claim that is your opinion, but I happen to agree. Standards, coding, and all the other stuff is great, but client focused and profit is the key. Kudos on your post, I can now step down from my soap box, but I will likely climb back on once someone puts too much emphasis on the other elements.

    This does not reduce the importance of rezzy's points, it just adds emphasis where it belongs: the needs of the client.
    Steve Chittenden

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    Great lists guys. Interesting too to have two (<-- wow too, to, and two all together) lists that come from completely different aspects of web development. Both the technical and the business/marketing are important.

    I'd sooner see the bigger picture errors as the more egregious, but fixing technical errors is also important.
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    Yeah, I was thinking that this thread really could be split up (I'm not suggesting two threads, just pointing it out). The original post approached the subject from the technical side, while Steve quickly illustrated the business side. Mistakes definitely are common in both areas. You could also split this into mistakes made by web designers, and mistakes made by site owners. It could be an interesting discussion as it progresses.
    Steve Chittenden

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    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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    I suppose this is a mistake made by designers, but it's also a mistake made by site owners as well. I can't tell you how many sites have been ruined by needing to add something because it's cool. Maybe it's a flash intro, or one of those annoying talking head people, or music or whatever. Some people get so carried away by being able to do the latest thing that they don't stop to think about whether or not the latest thing is actually beneficial.

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    KristineS, I think you make an important note.

    When does form over function? When does the newest gadget become to much? Is it ok to use ajax on a site, if it makes the sites look flow nicer? At what point does using the latest technology become to intrusive into the websites logical flow. I came across a site that you navigate by hovering your mouse. The idea is you arent suppose to click. www.dontclick.it. I am not saying we should go to this extreme, but at what point has the flash over usability?

    On the business side of things, I think the ultimate goal is for a site to make profits for the client. But the blame should not rest solely on the developer/designer. Without the client endorsing their website, via print, etc. The site cant bring in people.

    Is it a designers job advertise a site?

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    I'm going to bring in a third area - hosting. Users don't want to be waiting around for a slow server. Using a low cost, low bandwidth, shared service will only result is client click out before the site finished loading.

    As for technology, I think all retail and most sites in general should be 1 or 2 steps behind on the user technology end. Why, because if your site requires the last tech to work, you eliminate those potentail clients that are not at that level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rezzy View Post
    On the business side of things, I think the ultimate goal is for a site to make profits for the client. But the blame should not rest solely on the developer/designer. Without the client endorsing their website, via print, etc. The site cant bring in people.

    Is it a designers job advertise a site?
    No, it is not the designers job to advertise, but whether or not the designer chooses to get involved in the marketing aspect of a site is up to them. Personally, I think it is important. If the client comes to you well informed, knows just what they need, have their marketing all laid out, and understands how the Internet works, then you can just create what they ask for. However, that is rarely the case, especially for a small business. When the web designer can go beyond just design, then their service is much more valuable.
    Steve Chittenden

    Web design, graphic design, professional writing, and marketing.

    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbscreative View Post
    When the web designer can go beyond just design, then their service is much more valuable.
    That I totally agree with. The designer has to do market research, for cases when they dont know the environment, and find what expectations that market has.

    For instance, I monitor stats on my clients website, as a means of following my progress as designers and clients business progress. When I see the client offering a new incentive, I try to recommend web based solutions that can make go along with the current promotions.

    I think the best business is when you make your client's success your own. When I found my client was getting new clients, I was excited. This has gotten derailed a bit, and so I want to bring it back on topic.

    Hosting- People want the cheapest hosting, but dont realize that if the reliability it can sometimes cost. For instance, hosts that claim unlimited everything. No host can ever live up to that statement.

    One thing that really bugs me, is when I come across sites that, have some company that designed it and the site was created using Word or some other program not meant for web.

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