The Design Center, DT&G Web Design & Review / Will they Remember? / Visual Crimes  

Have they committed visual crimes?

... will you?

There are visual crimes committed on almost every web site I visit with the exception of those built by knowing and caring designers.

The compulsion to get something up on the web is drawing everyone into the funnel. It's worse than the desktop publishing rush of the mid '80s. Nine out of ten page developers have no idea they've committed a visual crime on their reader. At the MultiCom Expo conference, people were astonished they had made these mistakes, yet looking at the pages in the light of analysis, the problems become very obvious.

One of my favorite and continual pleasures is when an attendee or subscriber calls me and says: "... look at the changes I made... see, I fixed those problems!" Now I know I've gotten through. But what's better is helping grow the ability to recognize the mistakes before you make them. That's the real value here.

What are the 10 most common visual crimes committed on the monitor -- and will you know how to avoid them?

I find it much more powerful to analyze and critique bad design than simply telling you how to lay out a page. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there just laying out pages! By learning from their mistakes the solutions take on tangible meaning -- meaning you can sink your teeth into.

Answers without questions are little more than words..

Color Concepts

Color is one of those areas that we all like to really work on. And what gets me is that so many don't notice it until later. There's this web page I show in the workshop that I can predict what will happen when I bring it up... the audience will gasp! Now what I'd like to know is why does the entire audience gasp, yet the original creator didn't see the blunder? Doesn't make sense. Or, perhaps they were color blind and don't know it.

Then there's this yellow one. You wouldn't believe this one. And in a conversation the other day the person asked: "Well what's wrong with yellow?"

It doesn't sound that bad, but when you see it, your eyes are knocked out. The text is unreadable. This huge yellow glow from a bright canary background makes all the other visual elements sort of hide behind a rude fog. Yellow is a wonderful color... don't get me wrong -- but if you make it the entire background color of your web site you're asking for trouble.

What we need to zero in on is which colors will work toward your intended goal.

Which combinations will reinforce your mission statement. Perhaps we can leave the reader with our message even if they don't even read anything! So that means not selecting a color because it's the color of your car, or the one your spouse really likes!

When we talk about color strategies our goal is to make the screen draw our readers in... not repulse them.

People always ask me what color to use, or what's the best type face. These are the two most abused elements in 99% of the web pages you'll find -- we're going to work on that! And, you're going to not onlybe able to recognize them, you'll know how to make yours BETTER!

Next: What's the most popular question?


Fred Showker toured with DGEF (Dynamic Graphics Educational Foundation) from 1989 through 1995 conducting seminars throughout the U.S. on Creative Layout Techniques, Web Design and Newsletter Design.

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