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Teaching, rebuking, correcting & training in righteous web design.

Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox – 13DEC02

Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002

Every year brings new mistakes. In 2002, several of the worst mistakes in Web design related to poor email integration. The number one mistake, however, was lack of pricing information, followed by overly literal search engines … As the Web grows, websites continue to come up with ways to annoy users. Following are ten design mistakes that were particularly good at punishing users and costing site owners business in 2002.

Well, I agree with the pricing thingie, but I’m having issues with points #3, #7 and #10. Of the third point, he misses the fact that most of us living and surfing in western cultures read left to right, top to bottom, which the real motivation behind not wanting to scroll right then back to left. That said, I do agree, what’s with the 805px width?

Regarding for issues #7, and #10, of the former, I think he overblows the impact of slanted/poorly scoped FAQs. Usually we just ignore them. For the later point, I dunno. Generallly when I want to see someone’s bio, I click on a link saying “bio” or “about me.”

That said, I can see what Jakob Nielsen getting at, so its not like the list needs a re-write – though it could be extended. For example, one issue he avoided, which I suspect may have to do with his relationship with Macromedia, is the overuse and abuse of Flash. Especially for menus … so much for “open in new window” or “open in new tab” there.

Suppose I should drop Vincent a line and see what he thinks of this year’s top 10 Bozo no-no’s.

One Comment

  1. This list seems to assume everyone on the ‘net is a real dummy & picks on some things that just aren’t all that important. On most of the items, I can see why you may want to generally follow the guidelines. But, to call these the “Top Te Web-Design Mistakes” is just plain silly.

    I still think the top design mistakes are such things as:

    *) Overuse of heavy and/or animated graphics
    *) Assuming design = content
    *) Sound files that play automatically
    *) Navigation that does not let you just go where you want
    *) Anything that requires one specific browser or plug-in.