Top Ten Web Site Design Mistakes

Over at Heal Your Church Web Site, Dean is commenting on Jakob Nielson’s top ten web design mistakes of 2003. I found it informative, and I wanted to add my thoughts on a few of them:

3. Undated Content. Regarding your question about static pages: I think it’s always a good idea to include a date. In fact, in many cases, it’s a good idea to include two: one for last modified, and the other for last reviewed. That way, people know your content can be trusted, even if it hasn’t been updated in a while.

4. Small Thumbnail Images of Big, Detailed Photos. This is a really good idea, and one I hadn’t considered before. The problem I see is that these thumbnails are often made dynamically. Do you know better than me about an image module for Perl or PHP that can do cropping without help? Seems like it would be kind of difficult to code from scratch. You could do some fancy contrast comparisons and so forth, but we all know that machine vision isn’t ready for prime time yet…right?

5. Overly detailed ALT Text. ALT is for a general description of an image. If you need to be more descriptive, the LONGDESC is what you’re looking for. Basically, it lets you add a link to another web page with more detailed facts. You can visit W3C for an example of this.

Merry Christmas to all! May God bless you in the ways you least expect this year.

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