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Web Tips - Common Errors
Here are just a few tips to be aware of if you decide to design your own site rather than use Sky-Web's expertise. We have seen all these problems on sites, some of which have been going for years. Don't get caught out.
Being Too Clever
Sometimes a newcomer to web sites has a clever idea, and it's usually something to do with graphics and navigation. Some ideas are however, just too clever. If the viewer can't actually work out what they have to do to navigate around a site, they are going to have problems. You have to make it a bit obvious what they have to do. This is one of the things we always check when carrying out a site optimisation study, even for other experienced designers (yes, we troubleshoot for other designers). One sports site in the UK has white text on a coloured background, with the page links in light grey text - very hard to see. It even fooled us for a while! Make things a bit easier on the viewer. It is often said stick to standard link colours, but you can get away with changing them if they stand out a bit more clearly than light grey versus white text.
Huge scrolling pages
Everyone hates scrolling down a page. One site we visited while doing some work for a musician was over thirty screenfuls of text. It was so easy to get confused - the entire site was just this one huge page. It just seemed to scroll on for ever! If you must have a lot of info on a page, such as the Design FAQs page has, use internal links on the page. Article pages like these and FAQs are about the only ones where more than two screenfuls of text are acceeptable.
But the Number One hate is sideways scrolling pages. You've see it before - scroll right, read a bit, scroll left, scroll down, read it, scroll right, read a bit (not relevant this time), scroll left, scroll down...
Sky-Web always takes steps to avoid this sort of annoying thing happenning, and so should you. Not sure how? Contact us and try our remote troubleshooting service. We may just have to check a single page, then you can do the rest yourself.
Fixed Font Sizes
Some people with visual impairments set the View > Text Size option to Larger to get around their problems. This makes all text bigger - except those fixed at some point size. For body text, this is a problem for you as well - they are likely to leave the site if it is hard to view. Sky-Web recommends against fixed font sizes for most web sites, as it may inconvenience many of your viewers.
When readers see the term visual impairment, they usually think in terms of a person who is partially blind. But a large number of people over 50 use the Internet, and their eyesight has deteriated a bit with age. So making a site easier to read for this large group of potential users is quite important.
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