Part Four
Avoid Turn-offs!

© 2001 by Walt Howe
(last revised 24 April 2001)
Some "features" of web pages are more annoying than they are useful. Here are some of them:

  • Blinking text. One of the most annoying things you can put on a page is blinking text. Sure, it attracts attention--at first! But after a few repetitions, it is an annoying distraction. I have only seen one legitimate use of the blink function. It was consisted of a single letter blinking to call attention to an error in a complex string that someone else had originally typed. Even then, bolding the character would probably have been better.

  • Scrolling text. I find scrolling text, created with MSIE's MARQUEE tag or with JavaScript particularly annoying, too. It never scrolls at my reading speed, and if it overwrites the status bar at the bottom of the browser screen, it robs me of information I expect always to be there.

  • Overuse of animated GIFs. Animated GIFs are another "feature" that helps attract attention. Sometimes they are clever, but more often than not, they rapidly become annoying. They are used very frequently in banner ads to make sure you look at the ads. Some pages will have three or four animated GIFs, all competing for your attention. If you create them, set them to repeat three or four times and then stop. It is much kinder to your readers! If you are an advertiser, think how much good will you can earn if your ad stops repeating after people first see it.

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Part Five

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