text  Stuff to Avoid



More to come:   Submit your least favorite for this list.

The dreaded <BLINK> tag

This is the tag that started it all. <BLINK> was one of the first enhanced HTML features - so it tended to get overused by people who first saw the blinking text and thought, "Hey, this new <BLINK> is pretty cool, I'm going to use <BLINK> as much as I can so my page will be cool regardless of whether there is really any reason to have the text <BLINK> or not." the rest is history. (get the picture yet?)

Getting Framed


Another potentially deadly element in the hands of the untrained.

Although frames can occasionally be used effectively, any site which has more than 2 frames, or one that *ever* links to frames within frames is automatically on this list. There actually are pages like this out on the web. Yikes!

Use frames sparingly, and always target your links to avoid frames in frames.

Animated GIFs

If your web browser supports animated GIF files, try to read this section with the above image animated. Does your eye tend to be attracted to the moving text? Press the stop button to stop the animation, and read the section again. Which do you think makes for a better page? The human eye is attracted to motion, and moving GIF files such as this tend to make it difficult to concentrate on the content of a website.

Another negative attribute of animated GIF files is that they must contain more image information, and are much larger files which take longer to download than a standard image file.

Image Maps


An image map is an easy way to let a user choose part of a file to click on in order to follow a related link. This element is another good idea which can unfortunately be turned easily into a bad page when done incorrectly.

A typical example is when someone puts a page like this one up. I have seen many like it on the web. If the image link is bad, or the user has image loading turned off, they will have no idea what the page is, or where they are linking to. Even in the best case, the user will have to wait for enough of the image to load to get an idea of what the links would be.

Alternate text links should always be provided, since the potential for problems is great, and in any case. very few people have a desire to wait for pointlessly large images to load.