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DESIGN USABILITY

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.

Author Info:
By: Christian Heilmann
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 10
November 24, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  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 - Bookmark us
(Page 2 of 4 )

You may have encountered links or huge buttons on websites giving the user the chance to bookmark this page or even set it as the browser homepage. This represents a rather desperate attempt to gain more popularity, and is more annoying than helpful. The browser GUIs make it rather easy for a user to add a favorite or bookmark, and it is their choice to make. If it is interesting enough, people will bookmark it, but they are not very likely to use the link. One might argue that users do not know how to bookmark a website, but how likely are these users to find the bookmark again if they hadn’t used the means their browser offers them to set it?

Print this

It is very important to offer a good printable version of long texts on the Web. Reading on the screen is a lot more tiring than reading on paper, since the eyes get bombarded by light directly, rather than the indirect light reflected from a piece of a paper. “Print this page” links that only link to the Javascript window.print() function are rather useless though, as they do the same thing the huge printer icon in the user’s browser toolbar does. A print this page functionality on a page should do more than just print the page; it should convert links to readable links (what good is an underlined text when I don’t know where it points to?), and it should print the whole article, not only the current page. You can remove unwanted graphical elements via a print style sheet, but the other requirements can only be achieved via a backend script or another template. So, unless you really want to create a proper print version, don’t bother offering links that promise more than they can deliver.


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