Making the Web a Better Place

Usability is just beginning to receive the highlighting that it deserves. Some of us have been promoting it for years. Corporations have bought in, but what about John (or Jane) Doe website owner? Do they even know what it is, let along why they should care? It's up to us to get the word out.

So, John or Jane, here's a few pointers just for you:

  1. Think speed. Go here and have your site analyzed. It's fabulous.

  2. Think relevance. Your page needs an organized theme. Everything on the page should be relevant to that theme. If it's not, split it into multiple pages

  3. Check for broken images. These are terribly distracting.

  4. Check for broken links periodically. It is frustrating to a surfer to click on a link from your site that doesn't go anywhere or gives them an error.

  5. Limit the number of images on your page, especially those that move. Yes, I know you love all the beautiful pictures. Try spacing them out on multiple pages or making them just a link if you have a picture gallery. People are much more impressed by the speed of your site than by the images.

  6. Avoid the hateful images that follow your mouse. Just ignore that script. You wouldn't believe how slow that makes your page.

  7. Use a color palette. This will get you started.

  8. Limit your use of scripting. We all know that you can do some great things with scripts. Just don't do it unless it is pertinent to your page.

  9. Check your layout. Draw it out on a page before you code it. Make good uses of tables to organize all the items on your page.

  10. Check your page with different browsers. Just because it worked with Internet Explorer does not mean it will work with Netscape and vice-versa.

There are lots of usability sites out there. Jakob Nielson has a site with tons of information. Another great one is IBM's.