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Website Knick Knack

We've all visited websites that made us wince. You know what I mean: full of distracting animation, flashing text, and enough other clutter that it reminds you of a Victorian home filled to bursting with knick knacks. Are you guilty of filling your website with useless junk? Christian Heilmann takes you down his checklist of website clutter. You just might find yourself considering a redesign.

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By: Christian Heilmann
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 10
November 24, 2004
  1. · Website Knick Knack
  2. · Bookmark us
  3. · I liked the menu, but the food wasn't enough
  4. · Look, I'm animated!

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Website Knick Knack
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It is safe to assume that most of us know someone who has their house cluttered with figurines, souvenirs and collectibles. A lot of times these things appear rather ugly, useless and out of date to us and we wonder why anyone would spend time and effort on them.

The sad part is that when it comes to people creating their own private websites, or--heaven forbid--even their company Web presence, they tend to fall into the same trap. In this article, we’ll discuss some website elements that used to be (or are even now) perceived to be cool and beneficial, but in reality don’t make a lot of sense.

I am not a number! I am a free man!

Sorry to quote “The Prisoner”, but there is nothing more unprofessional these days than a huge counter on websites stating that you are the 234th visitor since 2001. If you want to know how successful your site is, analyze the server logs or use a hidden counter instead. Of what possible use could this information be to a visitor? If your site is popular, it ranked better in the search engines and the visitor found you that way. There are places where a popularity meter is a good indicator of the value to the visitor, for example when listing articles or downloads. Putting a number on the visitor is bad style though, and hails from an era where it was necessary to show the popularity of your website to justify its existence.

Close this

Although debatable, popup windows are still very much in use and many a developer considers it necessary to add a “close this window” link pointing to the window.close() Javascript function on the page. Despite being only a working link when Javascript is available, it is completely redundant. Nearly every windows-based operating system and application offers big “X” buttons and keyboard shortcuts to close them. Why should the visitor need a link to do so?

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