Bad Web Design: Strange Cursors

Written by Richard Lowe

I've been to some sites lately which have some pretty fantastic cursors. You probably know what I'm talking about - cursors that have little balls dangling from them, look like a heart or consist of a string of letters waving as if inrepparttar wind.

The first time I saw these cursors I thought, "that's pretty cool, I wonder how they did that?" The answer was obvious sincerepparttar 134666 cursor requiredrepparttar 134667 download of a special Internet Explorer plug-in.

I see these cursors all overrepparttar 134668 place. I visit a lot of sites, and many of them have some strange or not-so-strange cursors running. Some sites even have a different cursor on each and every page!

What'srepparttar 134669 problem with this? Well, on a personal home page, nothing. In fact, a nice, cute cursor on someone's page about his wife or dog is a great touch, adding some special nicety which makesrepparttar 134670 pages stand out. A little waving flag on someone's page about their Vietnam War experiences is great, and a heart can make a romantic page really stand out.

But on a professional site these cursors tend to be, well, tacky. They turn away visitors for a number of reasons. These don't matter that much on a personal site - after all, most people create personal sites forrepparttar 134671 satisfaction, not to make money or get a high hit count.

Professional sites are different. You want your visitors to stay and read your message, comprehend your data or buy your products. Under these circumstances it is critical that you do nothing to chase anyone away.

Some ofrepparttar 134672 drawbacks of special cursors includerepparttar 134673 following.

1) Including special cursors requiresrepparttar 134674 download of a plug-in. This has a tendency to turn away visitors right away. People are afraid, rightly so, of anything that pops up a security alert, and attempting to download an ActiveX control will do exactly that.

2) Most of these animated cursors will only work on Windows and only inrepparttar 134675 Internet Explorer browser (and often onlyrepparttar 134676 newer versions at that). This limitsrepparttar 134677 people who will enjoyrepparttar 134678 effect.

Bad Web Design: Graphics Problems

Written by Richard Lowe

I know you like to put graphics on your page. There is little better than a site which has been done by a professional graphics designer. The perfect balance between graphics, color, fonts, photos and layout is rare and a wonder to behold.

Onrepparttar other hand, a site with bad graphics or some obvious blunders can be agonizing and even painful to look at. Here are some ofrepparttar 134665 more common errors.

Large Graphics

Large graphics have their place onrepparttar 134666 web. Some sites give away massive numbers of wallpaper images, which by definition are very large. In fact, I know of a site which offers over a thousand Tomb Raider wallpapers that is very good.

What you want to avoid is using large graphics on your main pages. Instead, you can use a technique such as showing thumbnail images or links torepparttar 134667 larger graphics. Thus, those people who wantrepparttar 134668 large graphics can get them, while those who do not are not forced to wait for them to load. The Tomb Raider site solved this problem by including 100 very small (32 x 32 pixel) thumbnails on a page. Clicking on an image displaysrepparttar 134669 larger wall wallpaper.

Improperly Optimized Graphics

All ofrepparttar 134670 common graphics formats (GIF, PNG and JPG) allow for compression of various kinds. One common error is to not take advantage of this compression. For example, you can cut downrepparttar 134671 number of colors in a GIF image, which makes it smaller. Or you can increaserepparttar 134672 loss percentage in a JPG, substantially reducing it's size.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use