April 2011

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After a project was laid on me in the eleventh hour which had to be delivered in the twelfth, I found myself madly trying to educate myself on a foreign subject. The project and the subject doesn’t really matter. What mattered to me was collecting enough data for me to deliver it on time. Google performed beautifully; but a lot of the sites failed. Why? Pop-ups.

Of course, they aren’t the pop-ups of years past, they’re “modal windows” or “lightboxes”. You’ve all seen them. You visit a page, the background fades to grey, and a simple little window automagically springs into existence. Sometimes they asked me to register. Sometimes it was a sales pitch. The reason didn’t matter. I was there to get content. And now you’ve covered it up and forced me to click on something to get to it.

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One of the biggest problems that I’ve found working in the web industry is that outsiders don’t really get what a corporate website is all about. It’s not just about HTML, a really good design, or content. I’m finding that too many young businesses, or immature older ones, think one web designer is all it takes to put together a website. So I’m going to attempt to describe in under 1,000 words what should go into a website. The key word here is should.