IS YOUR WEB SITE UNFRIENDLY? Part 9 of 9Written by Laraine Anne Barker
Other "unfriendly" things often found on web sites are: 1 "Blinking" text--fortunately not so common these days. 2 Words marching across page. 3 Words marching across status bar at bottom of browser. That's where I want to see URL of link at which my mouse is pointing, for goodness' sake!
These gimmicks, along with animated graphics, are extremely distracting, especially to eyes of visitors who are much more interested in what owner of web site has to say.
SUMMING UP: Well, this series of articles deals with some of my personal prejudices. However, things that irritate me might not be important to someone else, and you don't have to take notice of them if you don't want to. Nevertheless, most of these faults ARE considered by genuine professional web designers to be serious ones. While some people insist a web page is nothing like a printed page, and web designers are therefore free to break all rules of good page layout and design, fact remains that if it looks ugly on paper it looks just as ugly on a monitor. Do you really fancy reading a book or newspaper with black pages and white, blue or bright green print, for instance? Well, then, why would anyone want to read something like this on a monitor? However, I'm amazed at number of web site creators who expect me to do just this!
Certainly visitors who can't navigate your site are going to think you're less than courteous. They will probably think you're an idiot if they can't read your site's content because you haven't specified a suitable background colour and your type is same colour as their default background colour. Also, if you don't specify height and width of your images these will take ages to download and your visitors will give up and go elsewhere. I do. Likewise, if you don't use ALT tag so that text-only visitors can read what your picture is about, they won't be tempted to ask for it to load. That's just common sense, surely!
Web Design: Integrating e-CommerceWritten by Kurt Thumlert
For web developers who prioritize graphics and design work, reconciling art of web development with building an e-commerce platform can be somewhat problematic. Design and programming are foci - and these are skills developers spend years refining, weekends investigating, and long nights tweaking. That's why for many people providing web design solutions, e-commerce dimension of building a site can often be a bit unruly - if not downright utilitarian.
Here, it's art and science of web development that's fun part. Juggling a variety of e-commerce vendors for different e-commerce needs (or performing in-house technical work of commerce-enabling a client site) can be infinitely less rewarding than primary web design/development.
Unfortunately, most clients don't spend a lot time reviewing nuances of source code - that weird cipher rippling beneath surface of their web pages. Instead, business functionality is their primary goal - and online credit card authorization may supplant web artistry on your clients' list of priorities. And rightly so - it's their business at stake.
So on web developer's plate, you have responsibility of translating a client's vision into a web-based reality, of mobilizing underlying code. In many cases, you also have additional task of e-commerce enabling site - integrating e-commerce systems and coordinating various service providers. Synchronizing these latter aspects of development can be frustrating, regardless of whether you outsource or perform tasks in-house.
Here, you may be required to organize secure server hosting, integrate an automated payment processing system and secure order page, incorporate catalog and shopping cart functionality, and in some cases you may even have to help swing a card-not-present merchant account so your client can accept credit cards on Internet. There's a lot of detail work to manage.
The solution, of course, is to eliminate all this confusion by finding one reliable service provider who you can handle entire spectrum of e-commerce tasks for you. The ideal situation - for both web developer and client - is to have these e-commerce duties out-sourced to a 'single-source' e-commerce company: a vendor that can manage and coordinate every feature of a solid, flexible e-commerce platform.