10 Web Design Mistakes (at least 6 are remedied in blogs)

The ever so practical Jakob Nielsen gives his list of Top 10 Web Design Mistakes.

They’re so easy to overcome, yet so often overlooked. In my opinion, at least six of these mistakes are easily fixed with a good blog or simply good content management software.

1. Bad Search
2. PDF Files for Online Reading
3. Not Changing the Color of Visited Links
4. Non-Scannable Text
5. Fixed Font Size
6. Page Titles With Low Search Engine Visibility
7. Anything That Looks Like an Advertisement
8. Violating Design Conventions
9. Opening New Browser Windows
10. Not Answering Users’ Questions

Concerning #1 and #6, here’s an example from my personal experience. Dentyne-isms are the cute “parables” on the back of Dentyne gum packages. Type “dentyne-isms” into a Google search. The top two links are to this blog. Dentyne’s website doesn’t even show up in the search results.

Apparently people really like these dentyne-isms. Right now, the post that comes up in the search results has over 50 comments. It’s one of the top search terms bringing people to my blog.

Read the rest of Jakob’s Top 10 Web Design Mistakes. His details are worth the few minutes of reading.

Business as Usual

I missed blogging last week. There’s a story behind that.

I play basketball at 5:45 AM every Tuesday and Thursday. It may sound crazy to play basketball that early, but it allows me to do something I enjoy without interferring with my family time in the evenings.

Last Thursday I didn’t feel very well after basketball. Maybe fatigued because I stayed up to late Wednesday night, or maybe I was dehydrated. Either way, I didn’t do anything about it. Business as usual.

By Noon, I had developed a bad headache so I took a 20 minute nap. It didn’t work. By 3:00 PM, I had a migraine. Then I felt nauseated and began to have cold sweats. I pulled off my sweater since I was wearing my button-down shirt underneath. My hands started trembling and I felt very light headed.

I went to my partner’s office and told her what was up. She looked worried. “You have no color in your face. Are you OK? Do you need to see a doctor?”

My doctor was out of town and the other physician in his practice was booked tight. They recommended minor emergency care.

At this point, the whole office is involved. Prodding me to drink fluids and rest. They all seemed very concerned and I was actually a little embarrassed about the office coming to a halt because of me. Still, it was nice to know they cared.

I opted to take another nap in my office instead of going to minor emergency care. I woke up an hour later, a little groggy but without any migraine symptoms.

There’s more to this story than just the reason I didn’t blog last week. There’s more than just bragging on our staff and their compassion.

I think we all have moments like this. We have a nagging sense that something’s wrong (physically, emotionally, spiritually), but we go on with business as usual. The nagging sense develops into a headache – an argument with our spouse – mounting financial issues – and we try to handle it quietly, acting like everything is “fine.” If we’re unfortunate (or maybe we’re truly fortunate in the long run), our problem manifests into something debilitating. Knocking us out of our rhythm. We can no longer ignore it. We want go on with business as usual. We ask for help. Hopefully we receive it.

Where are you right now? Do you have that nagging sense? A headache? Maybe you’re on the verge of a minor emergency. Business as usual won’t cut it. Don’t be afraid to be honest, be real, ask for and receive help.

The Old Old is the New New

I’ve grown quite fond of my old-style hats. I have a fedora and a willis hat. When I wear theses hats I get comments from people (and sometimes stares). Yet, these were the hats everyone used to wear. Now, it seems like a very new thing to do.

Of course trends come and go and come back again. That’s nothing new. But it has made me think about how some of the recent trends in marketing are not new, but old. When business became modern, the old way became passé. In our postmodern world, old has become new:

Old Old is the New new

*see Brand Autopsy’s High-Tech vs. High-Touch post

**see Seth Godin