Nar's List of Annoying Things People Code/Don't Code Into Websites

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by NarCranor, May 5, 2008.

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  1. NarCranor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 2
    Alright, we are all fans of star wars fan sites here, but there are a small number of things I see repeatedly on Star Wars fan sites that are exceptionally annoying/site ruining or just done badly that ruin my ability to navigate and enjoy a Star Wars fan site.

    1.) Navigation: WOW do people have a hard time setting up a user friendly site navigation. For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, site navigation refers to the series of links people click to get to various pieces of content on your website. The real trick to a decent user navigation, is keeping it clear and simple. The number one rule for creating your site navigation, is that any piece of content on your site, should be able to get accessed in a maximum of like, 3 clicks with the mouse, preferably in 1-2 from the main page.

    It is really a simple manner of categorizing all the content on your site, and having your main page link to all those categories, and when you do click that category, having all that content listed there. If there is TOO MUCH content, you subcategorize it once. Just make sure your categories make sense to VISITORS, dont make categories that only you are going to understand. For an example of what I feel is a very simple navigation, try my site, http://www.fandomcomics.com which has a simple but sexy graphic user interface bar on the side. Note that this same exact navigation can be achieved by just making a frame and listing your categorized links in plain hypertext. It might not be quite as hot as a custom GUI, but ease of navigation TRUMPS hotness. Trust me on that. If your website doesn't work, then it doesnt matter how pretty it is.

    2.) Content: Wow do I go to a lot of sites and see this great theme, gorgeous banner, nice GUI bar, lots of custom animated graphics and the like, and after clicking around for 20 minutes, I notice the site actually has ZERO content. It just exists to be a pretty banner and interface. Not sure anyone has said this before, but THESE ARE USELESS WEBSITES. Websites are designed to hold content, be it text, audio, video, images, or whatever the content is that your site is supposed to be focused on providing. The banner, the animated page breaks, the flash animated introduction, the graphic user interface, that stuff is window dressing. That stuff enhances the accessibility and experience of VIEWING YOUR CONTENT. Within 30 seconds of accessing your website, the viewer should be able to get a sense of what type of content they can expect to find on your website, and where to find it. I dont even care what the content is, for this purpose. If your website is a blog about your views on recent star wars news, etc, Great! Maybe its you making star wars jokes, awesome! Maybe its you photoshopping jar jar's head on to various celebrity bodies, I dont care what the content is! But HAVE content, and make it clear what it is on your main/main navigation page. Some content is more interesting than others, but please don't promote an empty site, OR just say you have the best star wars page ever, when you promote especially, promote your content, thats what people go to websites for, not for a fancy animated user interface bar.

    3.) Ostentatious Forums: Wow do people need to relax with making forums all fancied up. Ive seen forums where every thread has some kind of animated rotating icon, as well as each category in the forum. This is too much. Forums need to be fast if you want people to use them. It gets annoying to post anything on slow forums, TFN is one of the most popular star wars forums online, as well as the official site forums, LOOK HOW STRIPPED DOWN THERE ARE. Have features on your forum, but keep the design of if simple and user friendly. Having a bunch of spinning, glowing, animated things pushes people away from actually using a forum, it doesn't invite them in.

    4.) Staff Page: For the love of god, have a staff page with at least one contact email address that will get checked once a month or so at a minimum. I dont know how many times I have st
  2. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Very nice thread idea, NarCranor. I have made a Guide to Better Posting within this forum, which I've sent to DV. I figured I should get it approved, so hopefully that will be a helpful thread.

    I will add some things later on. ;)
  3. NarCranor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2005
    star 2
    Thanks! I never really thought to submit something like this for approval first....maybe I should be doing that. I just figured if they didnt like something, theyd delete the thread or censor it or whatever.
  4. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I am sure this won't be a problem...it's very helpful. I also sent it in in case he wanted to add anything to it.
  5. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Very well said. I agree totally with all of the above.
  6. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Alright, here is what I have to add (what I am about to say is what I have already PMed to DV in my "Guide to Building a Website")

    ~What I have to add kind of falls in the same category that #3 and #5 fall into. First off, do not put too many images on your site. If you do, make them small. That way, it will help load times. People, myself included, hate going to websites that have large, time-consuming pictures that take forever to load. Also, if you post less/smaller pictures, it will reduce scrolling; a lot of people do not like scrolling. The reducing larger pictures will also stay away from the dreaded sideways scroll (I hate that!). Another thing is, if you have a lot of pictures (and you are not a picture oriented site), it will take away from the content.

    ~This falls under those same lines, but do not overuse graphics. Balance your graphics with your text. Do not use too many graphics. What NarCranor said about Ostentatious Forums can be said for websites in general, not just forums. It can get pretty ugly and only distract users away from your site. Along the same lines, do not make your text too big. Large text is distracting.

    That's all I have for now, if I think of anything else, I will post it.

    The guide is up :)
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