I was inspired by Mary’s post here, in which she’s quoting Mike Sansone. I almost soiled myself – for those of you who don’t have a lot of experience with web design let me explain: there are a lot of folks out there who claim to be web designers and do not have a clue. It’s bad enough they besmirch the rest of us, but some of the horrors perpetrated on their clients are truly criminal.
While they’re talking specifically about blogs, I’m going to expand it to web sites in general.
The list – Your site might be 4Qd if:
- It uses Frames – Frames are 1995 design and they don’t work in Google. If the site was designed any time after 2000, do not ever talk to or refer business to the “designer” again.
- The designer used a cookie cutter template – If a reader can’t get an idea of what you do without reading the text, there’s a design problem. Don’t read the text – what does the design say? If the possible answers cross the spectrum of “web design, hair salon or escort service,” you’ve got a problem.
- The Flash animation’s busier than a Vegas marquee – Flash is fine if it adds to the overall design and utility of the site. Scrolling, blinking and otherwise distractive animation that doesn’t add anything is an issue.
- The text rivals Tolstoy’s work in length and complexity – We’ve all seen it. Pages that go on for ever. The writer must have been a rocket scientist. But unless you’re selling rockets, there’s no place for reams of pointless text. Bullet lists and short summaries, all directed laser like your true point – selling, generating leads, etc.
- It uses Ajax or Flash for the navigation scheme – I’ve seen it too many times. The developer creates a cool navigation scheme that uses Flash or Ajax. They go live. Two months later, they are asking why their traffic and their Google Ranking have dried up. Navigation is usability – if Google can’t get in, or your users can’t figure it out, you are hosed.