Simon Willison’s Weblog


Top web design mistakes

4th January 2003

Jakob Nielsen: Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002. This is an astutely observed list, although I would add “relying on Flash for navigation” as one of the biggest modern mistakes (for some reason Jakob fails to mention Flash at all...). I particularly liked the following point about lengthy URLs, especially the (as far as I know) newly coined term social navigation.

9. URL > 75 Characters

Long URLs break the Web’s social navigation because they make it virtually impossible to email a friend a recommendation to visit a Web page. If the URL is too long to show in the browser’s address field, many users won’t know how to select it. If the URL breaks across multiple lines in the email, most recipients won’t know how to glue the pieces back together.

The result? No viral marketing, just because your URLs are too long. Bad way to lose business.

Jakob also mentions, among other things, javascript in links (and links that open in new windows) and fixed font sizes. As previously hinted, I have a mega-rant about the former lined up for some time in the next few days.

This is Top web design mistakes by Simon Willison, posted on 4th January 2003.

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