Some people think Jakob Nielsen
's stuff encourages boring design
. Ahem. Stone age has passed
So, here's how to make a page that violates "Top 10 mistakes of web design" and "Top 10 new mistakes of web design".
- Use frames. A lot. The more the better. The users just love it when their browser is split into several hundred small boxes. Bet it makes bookmarking the page easy.
- Use as much cool new features you can think of. Who cares if the user needs a gigahertz Pentium III to browse the site. You have one. Nothing else matters.
- Make it blink. Make it scroll. Animate the hell out of it. I mean, text that stays on one spot and is actually readable is no challenge for the user and that's soooo boring. Hell, if you animate it and the user needs to vomit after reading the site, hey, he just Knows He Has Visited Your Site! What, with boring text and actual content, he might forget it immediately!
- Complex URLs... well, make them as complex as possible. For example, Never refer to E2 because the URLs can be made logical like this:
Do this instead:
See? If the user can remember it by heart, it's too simple. Again, challenge makes them remember your site.
- Never ever link to your other pages. I mean, a site with internal structure might be mimicked by some other site. Noooo way.
- Put as much stuff on the same page as you can. You know, even Nielsen says you should have Content! So, put it on the same page while you're it. At least it's all there...
- Navigation? There's absolutely no need for site maps or search engines. See above for challenge. People like to search for information. It's the thrill of using the Inttternet, ya know. Always hunting for some information, and when you find it after long hours, it's like killin' an elephant with a butter knife. You can't beat the feeling.
- Link colors: Make your links the same color as text and use CSS to remove the underlining. You know, it looks professional. Everyone is doing that these days. See above for more praise for the challenge!
- Never ever update your pages. Your page is a masterpiece. Work of art. Never touch it again. Never revise it. I mean, no one changed the text of the Holy Bible and it's still a classic after a few thousand years.
- Terabytes! You need terabytes! Remember, you can download 100 megs per second; Screw those who fool around with 14.4k modems. And hey, it's again more challenge for them. It's a wonderful feeling to finish downloading a huge file and close the line!
- Open new browser window whenever possible. While it would be a quaint challenge for the user to choose between the left and the middle mouse button, it's often helpful to open the new window for the user. Who knows, he may leave your site. By insidiously opening a new window, you can keep him in your site! Make sure you keep the new window as small as possible!
- Use non-standard GUI widgets. Again, challenge issue - People just love to guess "Gee, what does this thing that looks like a radio button do today?"
- Tell nothing about the brains behind the scheme. People know you're a God anyway!
- Don't archive. No one needs old stuff anyway. Old stuff should just vanish.
- Move pages to new locations (with 100-fold redirection in each case) as often as possible! Remember to change the URL to even more cryptic one each time. For example, in a spur of inspiration you can translate all file names to Swahili. (Or perharps move your servers to darkest Africa. More exotic site, you know, probably makes more money.)
- Headlines? Headlines? Who needs headlines? "Remarkable breakthrough", "new product released", hey, it's all you need to make the user salivate and click for more...
- Follow the buzzwords. Your site just needs all that new jazz or you will sink in this new economy. The Marketplace is a cruel mistress.
- A 33MHz 486DX with 12 megs of memory, running Windows 2000, is the optimal hardware configuration for your web server - it's fast enough to serve your users, and the administration is just breeze (a consultant visited us and said Yeah, That's So.) Don't forget the 2400 bps modem with which you connect the server to the 'net.
- Put a few banner ads there. Especially MAKE MONEY FAST things. People will click them like hell and you get $$$. (Ad server, of course, should run on a 16MHz 386SX.)
Okay, back to seriousness: What you learn from above is that Nielsen is an usability whiner. I'm okay with aesthetically pleasing pages, so is Nielsen, most likely. But I never tolerate web pages that have apparently been designed with the above "inverted rules" in mind.
As I said in RFC hugging bastard writeup: Aesthetics is one thing, usability another. These days, when we have things like CSS that enables us to specify web page rendering details, more accurately and in standards-compliant browser-independent way, Both can be made perfect without losing the other.