Written by Laraine Anne Barker

Continued from page 1

2. It's a good idea to specify type faces throughout your site so that your pages lookrepparttar same to visitors as they do to you. If you stick to, say, Times, Ariel and Helvetica you can't go wrong: everybody has these. Of course, most browsers allow visitors to override a webmaster's choice of type, so your site could still look ugly to some people. But that's their problem!

3. Never underline text, even headings. On paper underlining belongs strictly torepparttar 134759 typewriter and is regarded as bad typography. Onrepparttar 134760 Web it indicates a link-- unless, of course,repparttar 134761 link-underlining feature has been disabled. I don't know how many times I click on underlined text only to find it isn't a link!

4. Don't turn whole sentences into links if you can avoid it. Great chunks of underlined text are difficult to read, as well as being very ugly.

5. Use text in all capitals only for headings, and then use it sparingly. Blocks of text in capitals are difficult to read. Most headings look best with Just Initial Capitals.

Remember: If it looks ugly on paper, it looks just as ugly on a monitor.

Laraine Anne Barker writes fantasy for young people. Visit her web site at for FREE stories and novel excerpts. Sign up for the NOVELLA OF THE MONTH CLUB, absolutely FREE!

Anatomy of a Brilliant Site

Written by Stefene Russell

Continued from page 1

2. Graphics: If you sell stuff online, chances are you've already developed an ulcer worrying aboutrepparttar virtues of quick downloads vs. product photos. Well, take a look at whatrepparttar 134758 clever sciplus crew has done: they've used simple (but accurate!) line drawings to represent everything they sell. These little graphics take seconds to download, butrepparttar 134759 customer still knows what they're in for...and I'm sure you'll agree that you would want to know what a flagellation titration flask looks like before shelling out ten bucks for it.

3. Copy: It's short. It's snappy. It's funny as hell. Let me give you an example of a product description...for tape. You'd think that describing a roll of tape would be very boring, but look what they do with it:

"Very cool tape, whether you're shipping drugs, storing diamonds, or sealing boxes of confidential records. Seal a package with this 2" wide dark-blue tape that has Investigational Drug Services Venture printed on it in light blue. Any tampering will be evident, becauserepparttar 134760 tape cannot be removed without leaving a dense blue stripe onrepparttar 134761 surface, boldly patterned withrepparttar 134762 word 'OPENED.' One roll on a 3" core is 250 ft long. Whoever woulda thought? Peace of mind from a piece of tape!"

Now, I don't know about you, but that makes me want to buy this tape. No matter what you're selling, finding a unique voice will keep users in your site. Content DOES matter, no matter what anyone says. If this tape had been described in a cold, clinical way, it wouldn't be half as appealing. I want to buy this tape partly becauserepparttar 134763 description made me laugh, partly due torepparttar 134764 novelty of it, partly due torepparttar 134765 fact that I can think of certain boxes I'd like to seal from potential tamperers. And lo and behold, right under this lovely description, I seerepparttar 134766 order number,repparttar 134767 product name,repparttar 134768 price, and an orange link that says BUY ME. I don't have to look for an order page; my impulse buy will not be dampened by lots of clicking. If I fall in love with this tape, I click right then and there and add it to my shopping cart.

4. Order Forms: Sciplus has placed all their ordering information alongrepparttar 134769 top ofrepparttar 134770 page. Very saavy. Nothing loses a customer more quickly than an obscure, buried-at-the-bottom order form link. They also offer customers ordering options, and have coded each option with a separate color. This becomes a non-text ordering "language" forrepparttar 134771 entire site. When you see that orange BUY ME! link you know that it's option number three, because it's coded orange. This makes ordering fast 'n' easy, which means they probably get lots of sales for those googly eyes, among other things.

5. Other Miscellaneous Smart Moves: They created a newsletter to update users when new products have been added torepparttar 134772 site; they distribute a printed catalog, and ordering it is a snap online; their contact info is easy to find, as arerepparttar 134773 addresses of their actual stores. Andrepparttar 134774 entire tone ofrepparttar 134775 site is full of whimsy, good humor, curiosity and generosity. Sure, they want to sell you stuff-but they don't push it in your face. What they do push in your face isrepparttar 134776 information you want at your fingertips.

So go intorepparttar 134777 site. Play around with it, learn from it, and I'm sure you'll find other features that I haven't covered here. And while you're at it, be sure to pick up a stainless-steel pill splitter or some rechargeable sealed-lead calcium batteries.

Stefene Russell will do a complete analysis of your site, including personalized tips on copy and design at Whether you're an e-business or a content provider, find ut how to make your site professional and effective. Read Stefene's free web site tips at Reach her at or 801-328-9006.

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