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Ten Things that you won't find on my site


[Things you won't]
[Things you will]
[Top 10 things]


According to AltaVista, as of August 1996 there were about 400,000 pages containing the phrase under construction. As of December 1996, about 1,000,000 pages. Since then they changed how they count, but the numbers are still going up. As of February 1998, it's about 1,299,185 pages. June 1999, about 8,165,210. No Under Construction signs. Yuk! A WWW page is a continual process of development, and reconstruction, and things are never finished. It's amazing how WWW design has evolved, and we are really just at the beginning phases of its development, so things are changing fast. If your interested here's one. (and some more information on the No Under Construction campaign).


No Long Lists of URLs with no explanation of why anyone should use them. If I've given some recommended links, I've tried to explain why they would be used.

"Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradiation"
Jacques Barzan, Columbia University.

No Frames. Frames are horrible, and have never really been properly supported (especially in Netscape). So, if in doubt, use tables [well I've still got a few frames, but they are legacy pages which are,  [whisper] under construction]. The big problems with frames though, include:


You cannot bookmark them properly, as the only page that you can bookmark is the main page which contains the link to the initial pages. Thus to find the page that you were initially interested in, you must search through all the links that you previously followed.


They are often used with a scrolling bar on one or more of the 'pages', which makes it difficult for the user to scroll though the text on the page (the Page Up and Page Dn buttons are much more convenient when scrolling through pages of text.)


A Home button on my Home page. Having a Home button on your Home page is a bit like having a sign in your own home which says 'You are Here'. Ooops. I've forgotten to put the Home button on this page. Oh well, you'll just have to use the Back button! 


No missing or fossilized links (well, there wasn't the last time I looked).


No tacky animated icons. There's nothing worse than going to a page that's full of animated icons. One or two is acceptable, but I've seen some sites with five and more (I'd better not link to them, or I'll get in trouble. As a homework exercise, why don't you find them and email me the one that you find with the most animated icons on a single page).


No pages with gray backgrounds (you know the ones that really show their age, as gray was the standard background a few years ago).


No metaphors or puns. You won't find a picture of a networking lab with little post boxes for sending emails, and so on.


No garish text designs, such as red text on a green background. Click here if you want to see a good, tounge-in-cheek, version of a garish WWW site.


No references to parochial things (well apart from Falkirk Football Club, which is a small soccer team, who play half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow).


No Top 10 lists. Oh dear. I've broken this one a few times.


No inconsistent use of design. Well this is a difficult one to follow for a personal WWW site, as I've not got a large corporate team working on the pages, with ASP/CGI/CSS/PHP3/etc scripts to automate the whole process. I've used different Flash animations to try and experiment with a few ideas, so please forgive these.


No horrible and tacky background. There's nothing worse on your eye than a horrendous WWW page background, which is repeated over and over again. Well, apart from one that animated, as these make me travel sick (here' one of the most horrendous that I've ever seen).


Little use of standard clip art images. I've tried toI think I got this one from Microsoft clipart, which has some great images, but they can become tired as lots of people use them. originate some of the graphics shown on the pages, but I'm not very good at drawing, so you'll have to forgive my attempts.


Missing graphics files. WWW page developmentTee, hee! I've left this one off. systems (such as Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage) are sometimes not very good at differentiating between a local file (on the hard disk), and a WWW-based file. Thus when a user uploads their files the page will be viewable to them, as they have the graphics file locally on their computer, but is invisible to everyone else. 


No hit counters. I never really seen the use of hit counters, and what they really say. In many cases, especially in personal pages, the hit count can show that the page isn't really being hit that often. The optimum case is when the page is being hit once a day, and that's because the owner goes to it to determine the bit count. I think a better measure is the time spent on a site (or the number of pages accessed per hit), and not the hit count. One day I'm going to write a CGI program which measures the time spent on a site. Until then you've really just going to have to guess how many times my site has been accessed.


No layers. Layers are excellent in the design of WWW pages, especially in Flash design. They allow the designer to properly specify how the page is revealed to the user (lowest layers first). This allows important initial content to be displayed first, followed by higher-bandwidth content. Unfortunately not every WWW browser properly supports layers, so in most cases, the layers are converted into a table. So for now you'll just have to do with my tables.


Well. Research has shown that most users only spend an average of two minutes on a WWW site. So you've had your two minutes reading this list, so goodbye. Maybe if you have time, come back and everything will have changed.