Stop the Design Madness

July 26, 2007 at 10:24 pm 3 comments

I was reading an interesting post on “Making energy use visible” (via fulminate // Architectures of Control) and was having an enjoyable time discovering new ways to visualize energy usage. Personally I think that awareness of energy usage would help out my entire family… and may lead to some great surprises as well….

That’s when it happened.

I clicked this link: http://www.ambientdevices.com/products/energyjoule.html. The resulting page was a nice web layout with all of the text converted to sliced images instead of HTML text!!!!

Bad Design

At this day and age, how can this be so? Why? For the love of all reason? Why?

Whoever got paid to make this needs to refund the money. Because it isn’t a web site. It has no searchable HTML text so it is doing the owners a dis-service. I can’t believe anyone found it to link me. I wonder if it was the company, developer, or ad agency that built the site?

To help illustrate what I mean by dis-service: I saw statistics today for a flash piece (same problem, no HTML text) that I have traffic reports for. Unlike searchable pages this flash item can only be accessed through a web link. To find it is like finding Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire. So the result is a 1:2750 page access ratio. This particular element has a very upside down cost ratio, almost 2:1 for the site development. Therefore, it is a prime example of a waste of time and money.

Make your website capable of being found. Make it interactive. Make it convert. But don’t make it unusable. In 2007 this type of paid design work is unacceptable.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dan  |  July 26, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    I agree – it was annoying. You’ll notice I didn’t quote any text from the site (I would have done) – I couldn’t be bothered typing it out. Equally, to get the image of the Energy Joule, I got frustrated with finding the right sliced image to save, so just Print Screen’d the page and cropped the bit out I wanted.

    In my earlier days making websites, when I hadn’t really used the internet enough to realise what was easy to use/navigate and what wasn’t, and excited by the possibilities offered by the slice tool in Illustrator, compared with the ‘hassle’ of hand-coding HTML, I admit I was guilty of some sliced-image text sites (though I think most of them never made it online). But I gave up pretty quickly: I realised just how much more useful being able to search, index, select, copy and quote are, and how much I disliked sites where I couldn’t do that.

    Reply
  • 2. Harry Ward  |  August 1, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I agree with this. So, as a means of pleasing you and me doing some shameful advertising – visit this link, then perhaps you could let me know what you think?

    http://www.energy-monitor.co.uk

    Reply
  • 3. aaronlong  |  August 1, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Harry,

    Your site has a “splash page” that inhibits search spidering… and you have a “mystery meat navigation” once visitors get inside. So, you have made it difficult for both search engines and people to find what they want.

    You could get this fixed pretty easily.

    Reply

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