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Thread: 10Things Not To Do on your Website - Do you Agree?

  1. #1
    100%'s Avatar ╚════╩═╬════╝
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    Jan 2003
    I got this list from here -

    I learnt something from this, its great logic - i found it when looking for ways to prevent right clik......
    yet i question a few items mentioned (see bottom)

    1) Frames

    Frames, in theory, are pure genius. In practice, however, they are frequently pure disaster.

    Frames are commonly implemented in an attempt to simplify site navigation by keeping links in a handy, always accessible frame. This is almost always better accomplished by organizing information in a logical hierarchy and creating pages with simple, intuitive navigation.

    Another common use (misuse!) of frames is to align images so that they connect seamlessly in a layout. In nearly every instance, this is the wrong approach. The use of carefully aligned images to create a layout is somewhat questionable in the first place (I would know!), but if it must be done it is far more reliable to use tables. Show me a site that uses frames to achieve a layout, and I'll show you a site that falls to pieces in many browsing environments.

    Although support for frames on the web has improved in the last couple of years, the fundamental problems they create for users still exist. The difficulties with bookmarking, e-mailing a link to page within a frameset and search engine indexing should be given serious consideration before a frameset is used. Add to these the fact that many of the newest browsers allow the user to turn off frames support, and the fairly recent advent of hand-held devices that are used to access the web, the circumstances under which frames are actually a desirable option become rare indeed.

    2) Scrolling Marquees

    One of the most widely reviled features that can be implemented on a page is the scrolling marquee. This "stupid web trick" accomplishes absolutely nothing other than to provide a distraction and to make it difficult for the user to read the information contained within.

    The scrolling marquee is generally employed by newbies who think it's "neat". Use of the scrolling marquee is sure to impress anyone who has less than one week of experience with the web. The other 99% of users will appreciate the fact that the designer has identified him/herself as clueless and will leave the site with great haste, never to return, except possibly for a laugh.

    3) Anything that blinks

    Another "stupid web trick". The rule-of-thumb here is that just because you can do it, that doesn't mean you should. When people visit a site, their purpose is to read the information presented. Whether it be for research, entertainment or otherwise, the addition of blinking text or animations does nothing except distract the user and make it difficult for them to access your information. Many users will register their annoyance by avoiding your site at all costs.

    There are exceptions to this rule. If the blink is subtle enough, it can be used to draw the visitor's attention without distracting them as they try to read. This can be achieved through the use of an animated gif. Use of the <blink> tag is to be avoided at all costs.

    4) The dreaded Lake Applet

    The Lake Applet was an interesting curiosity a few years ago. Visitors to sites using the applet were suitably impressed the first time they saw it. The second time they saw it, it was boring. The third time they saw it, it was mildly annoying. Further encounters with the Lake Applet resulted in uncontrollable fits of rage as they waited (and waited, and waited) for the cursed thing to load.

    At the time of this writing, the Lake Applet is largely regarded as pointless, hack, overused, trite and an enormous waste of time and bandwidth. This applies to other water-related applets as well. Indeed, it applies to the use of applets in general, since Java has not kept it's promise of becoming an accepted standard.

    5) Animated Cursors

    Most computers allow the user to select the cursor they wish to use. People choose a cursor they like and works well for them. Many people do not appreciate it when a web site hijacks their chosen cursor setting and overrides it for no good reason other than that the author of the site thinks their cursor is better. (Reiterating the rule-of-thumb: if you add a feature to a page whose sole function is to be "neat" or "cool", you may rest assured that it is neither of those things).

    6) Spawning new windows

    Opening new windows on the user's computer has its place and can be done effectively. Effectively means that the link that spawns a new window is clearly labeled as one that does so. Links that spawn new windows but don't provide such a warning are considered to be rude. The unexpected opening of a new window frequently results in the immediate closing of the new window, usually before any content even has a chance to load in it. This sequence of actions is normally followed by the user quickly leaving the site that saw fit to launch a "surprise" window, never to return.

    7) Anything that "pops up" without warning

    This applies to new windows, javascript alerts and prompts, and various annoying DHTML gizmos. The implementation of anything that pops up unexpectedly is an inconvenience to the user who must now take some action in order to remove the offending object from their screen.

    8) Removing or restricting the users' controls

    Many browsers allow a great deal of configuration and customization in order to provide users with controls they prefer. Employing JavaScript to eliminate toolbars, back and forward buttons and various other features of the users' chosen browser is inconsiderate and rude. It is never wise to force your preferences on the user, particularly when your preferences override the user's chosen settings. Never assume that you know what kind of features the user would like to have in his/her browsing environment better than he/she does.

    9) Hijacking the status bar

    Displaying messages in the status bar of the visitor's browser is not only rude, it is also unnecessary and even somewhat suspicious. If you have a message you would like the user to read, put it on the page. The function of the status bar is to display the URLs of the hyperlinks on a page. Interrupting this function may arouse suspicion in the user in that they may wonder why the site is trying to hide that information from them.

    This trick is commonly used by adult sites and pay-per-click sites to fool the visitor into going somewhere they did not want to go. Experienced surfers know this and they will not click a link whose address is not displayed in the status bar.

    10) Disabling right-click

    This is quite possibly the single most clueless feature an author can add to a page. It is usually done under the misapprehension that it will prevent the user from viewing source code or saving images from a page. Not only does disabling right-click achieve neither of those things, it actually encourages them. Circumventing this attempt at security usually takes about two seconds or less, using one of the following methods:

    A) Click with both mouse buttons simultaneously B) Press the "menu" button on a Windows keyboard (next to the right 'ctrl' button). C) Hold down the right mouse button, answer the prompt by pressing 'enter', then release the right mouse button. D) Turn off javascript in the browser. (This is rarely, if ever, necessary).

    In the case of 'protecting' graphics, the right mouse button is not needed to save them, so disabling it serves no purpose at all:

    A) *Left click* on the image and drag it off of the page into a graphics program or a local folder. B) Hit the printscreen button on the keyboard, open a graphics program such as Paint Shop Pro and go Edit>Paste As New Image. C) Retrieve the image from the browser cache. D) View the page source and go directly to the url of the image. E) Turn off javascript in the browser.

    In addition to being completely worthless as a means of security, disabling right-click also makes it impossible for many people to use your site at all. Some browsers use the right mouse button as a means of accessing your information. Without it, your page may be rendered completely inaccessable to many users. Left handed people sometimes reverse the function of their mouse buttons so that the right button is used to click links. On a page where the author has attempted to interfere with right clicks, those users will not be able to navigate.

    The right mouse button has a number of other functions besides 'view source' and 'save as'. The author who knows what those functions are would never consider trying to disable it. The author who doesn't understand the importance of those functions probably shouldn't be trying to disrupt them.

    There is one very useful feature of disabling right-click on a site, however. It provides a quick and easy way for the visitor to identify the creator of a site as a person of severely diminished mental capacity.

    See also: Ten more things to avoid


    1:Frames: i havent started using them yet but even Adobe uses them if you look on Help in Adobe Photoshop - it doesnt bother me at all-but i heard from others here that it should be avoided

    6 & 7 "Spawning new windows & Pops up without warning"
    i disagree with this in "some" cases because if you have links on your site - and the viewer cliks it - itll Normally override your site and the viewer has to go back see your site-by that time its already too late.
    Most Flash sites create a New (popup)Windows to show the movie etc.and there are never any controls.
    As in my sig site - having a new window pop up it ensures the viewers dont loose your Page...(which is gooooooood). to some extent i find it even more proffesional...(noob thought?) btw: do popup stoppers prevent the opening of new window after a clik of a link?

    8. restricting the users' controls
    as with 6&7 above - if showing a movie or a page which should be shown with purity only, removing controls/statusbar etc can in some cases only make the page/movie/piece more perfect (ie images etc) ?

    4.Lake Applet
    i dont know what is-so i guess thats good

    For the rest i totally agree - most commercial sites should read this list.
    The p0rn industry regards this list as.... things you Must do....
    Last edited by 100%; 11-02-2004 at 10:06 AM.

  2. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #2
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    Mar 2003
    I pretty much agree with all ten points.

    Number 4, 'The dreaded lake applet' is a horrible java effect that I used to encounter online with monotonous regularity.
    Thankfully most people seem to be over that fad now.

    Here's an example of it:
    Sounds cool in theory, but in reality, just looks shite and takes too long to load with dialup.

    Here's another good resource for learning what not to do when creating websites:

  3. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #3
    Illuminati's Avatar Simple Bystander BT Rep: +7BT Rep +7
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    May 2003
    2008 European Capital of Culture
    I agree with all the points myself.

    Though that's mainly because I'm a simplist - I prefer quality information in a nice, clean layout rather than a site that needs all the fecking bells & whistles

  4. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #4
    SeK612's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +10BT Rep +10
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    Nov 2002
    I'm not great at web design but I've picked up that most of those things shouldn't be used. Most of its common sense though and I do find myself frowning when pages feature some or all of those things.

    I do use frames (iframes) on some pages but that so I can update on page in the root of a folder and have that change reflected on all the pages in a site.

    I've found pages like useful in finding out stuff that makes a page more acceptable to most visitors (using different browsers etc)

  5. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #5
    I'm guilty of using frames for a navigation bar that goes across a top of my site.

    But it does the job so I ain't complaining.
    We can't stop here... this is bat country

  6. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #6
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
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    Aug 2003
    I don't know any other way of doing what frames do than using frames.

    look at my "the new everything guide" (link in sig) and see what i mean.

    I'm still working on making it look better though.

    The rest of those points i completely agree with (who wouldnt?).

  7. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #7
    vivitron 15's Avatar Poster
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    Jan 2003
    North East England, UK
    you can do that with css and <div> tags - check out - there i use <div>s...i could easily make the right hand bit scroll by itself, but i prefer not to...its just a line of code.

    search w3c for the css section
    <insert signature here>

  8. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #8
    tesco's Avatar woowoo
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by vivitron 15
    you can do that with css and <div> tags - check out - there i use <div>s...i could easily make the right hand bit scroll by itself, but i prefer not to...its just a line of code.

    search w3c for the css section
    that's good. Exactly like i want mine. Just can't figure out how to do it.

  9. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #9
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    Jun 2002
    Over here!
    I agree with all the points.. except the one about frames. Frames are OK when used properly and sensibly.

    One thing though, in commercial sites where you are taking credit card payments and the like, it can be advisable to make some attempt to block the use of the browser back button, for both security purposes, and to avoid processing the payment twice. (Even if all you do is display a "Page Invalid" message)

  10. Internet, Programming and Graphics   -   #10
    100%'s Avatar ╚════╩═╬════╝
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    Jan 2003
    I have absolutly no problem with the way Roscco is using frames

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