Bitter Grounds Magazine

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Feb 24, 2021

Web design 101 – how not to market your website

Written by catpaw

February 22, 2016

I operae on the assumption that it’s easy to get things wrong so I tend to be (marginally) tolerant when I see goofs on websites. I chuckle, sometimes throw the error up on my site to share, knowing full well that could have been my error.  With web design, it’s so easy to get get something wrong. Once in awhile I see something that leaves me a bit stunned, like this:

web design failure - where's the content

Notice something missing? Yea, content. Where is it?  I figured there had to be something there so I highlighted the page and voilà – there is text, very much invisible:

why black font on a black background fails

This falls under Design 101 – don’t use black text on a black background unless you issue a decoder ring with your webpage.

Failing to ensure your content is visible brings up a second tip – don’t make your audience work to see your content. No one will stick around long enough to figure out highlighting reveals the secret text, nor will they take the site seriously.

This is a case where the design team didn’t check every page when a change was made. I couldn’t be bothered checking it with all browsers – after using 2 different ones, I gave up. Regardless, the site should be visible no matter which browser the customer chooses to use. Black background + black font = unreadable content.

And this is why every page MUST be checked before going live. Half the site is excellent, clear and easy to read; the rest is missing large chunks of vital content.

The great irony is the  site belongs to web design professionals. Web design fail and marketing fail all rolled into one.  Bad designers… bad …. go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done. The website is no longer online.

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