10 things I hate about your band's site - Part III

The 3rd installment of my article series about usability issues regarding websites. Also read Part I & Part II.

5. Splash screens

Introduction pages, or splash screens as they're also known, irritate me to no end, especially the ones with flash files. If I visit a website I want to get to the information I'm looking for as fast as possible. An introduction screen only adds time before I encounter the real content without adding any value.

If you do insist on making a splash screen, always remember to include a big, obvious link to the rest of the website.

6. Recommended browsers/resolutions

Some websites contain a message saying that the site can best be viewed with a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024. Others sites recommend a certain browser, like Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Even if you optimized your site for one screen size or one browser, you shouldn't advertise that fact. If a visitor sees such a recommendation he probably won't change his screen resolution or browser just for your website. What he or she may do is think you're too lazy to check your website in different browsers.

It's ok to optimize a website for a certain browser/resolution combination. But always remind yourself that not everyone has your setup. So if it's possible, check your website on as much combinations as possible.

At the moment of writing this about 90% of the people use Internet Explorer, and 60% of the people have a screen resolution of 1024x768. Of course the percentages can be different for your website, but it's safe to say that if your site doesn't look good for the Internet Explorer / 1024x768 combination, you're alienating a lot of potential visitors.

What proved to be the best way for me to design a site, is to build a site while checking it in Firefox, and when it's ready make sure it looks good in Internet Explorer too.

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