Fix My Website: Practical GraphicsWritten by Stefene Russell
Despite my lousy eyesight, I'm a hopelessly visual person. When I dink around with site I co-edit with my friend Mary, I scan large stacks of photos and pictures from old pamphlets, and use them liberally. I admit it: I'm a graphics abuser, though sometimes I can't help myself.
This week, I stumbled on two separate articles (one online, one in print) that reminded me lots of people turn off graphics when they surf. I was humbled, and thought about going home to boot some of those images off our site (I'll get back to you on that one). The point is this: if you're aiming to get your site in front of as many eyes as possible, you need to build your site as if everyone on planet was still pulling up pages with a pokey 24k modem-or a Palm Pilot, for that matter.
*If they can't see it-tell them what it is. You've probably run your mouse over an image (perhaps you could see it, perhaps it did not load) to see a yellow window pop up, with a descriptive phrase inside, e.g., "Stuffed Quetl Bird, circa 1917." If they can't see pictures, tell them what's there. You can do this by adding a scrap of code into your image tag: alt="Stuffed Quetl Bird, circa 1917"
and insert it so: If you don't like to mess with HTML code, go to help files for your particular HTML editor and see how to insert this coding. *Text Links. Those who cannot see your links cannot navigate your pages (or at very least, they'll have a heck of a time). Search engines won't be able to detect a title or a phrase if it's inside a GIF - after all, it's not a word, it's a picture of a word. You don't have to do away with your cool buttons entirely, but be sure to add text links at bottom of page. This is usually a good idea anyway, images or no; orienting your user at every turn assures that they won't get lost.
IS YOUR WEB SITE UNFRIENDLY? Part 2 of 9Written by Laraine Anne Barker
Part 2: IMAGES: make every one count
Don't load your page with graphics, especially those "under construction" things. If graphic has nothing to do with content of your page it is best left out. "Why," I hear you ask, "shouldn't I have as many pictures as I want?" Well:
1 Visitors who still have very slow modems will simply get tired of waiting for your page to download and go somewhere else. 2 About 30% of Internet users with browsers that support images disable this feature, and some older browsers are text-only, so your page can look messy if, for instance, it's full of empty boxes. 3 Unless your home page is devoted to, say, your artwork or your prize-winning photographs, graphics can distract from content of your site. 4 A large number of graphics, especially animated and other gimmicky ones, often indicate a site lacking in real substance.