The Problem with Many Web Pages
Several Points on the matter:
1. Illustrations help one to understand the material
Remember when you were a child ?
Didn't a book with illustrations hold your interest a lot more
than a book that didn't ?
I suppose many of the stories we were to read in school, had limited illustrations to force us
to concentrate more on reading. If so, I think that's a good thing,
and those of us who developed good reading skills are the result.
But at the same time, I think that omitting illustrations altogether from any written text meant to educate someone on any subject is a terrible thing to do, especially in this day and age, where writing a book, any book without illustrations is a complete waste of the paper (or web space) to which the material was written.
Do you notice something about this page? It doesn't have any photos or diagrams, or other things
that could be defined as illustrations. But, I have held your attention. I do that by writing legibly, and by using a bold heading above each paragraph to introduce a new main idea. I indent the sub-paragraphs, to further anchor your attention.
Though I could read well for years and years, so well in fact,
that when reading aloud,
I could make the person hearing me think I was very smart, the truth was that I'd have to re-read the topic over and over again (especially if that book had no illustrations), many times, often until my eyes hurt, to understand what the heck it was I was reading. Now, several years into reading and comprehending rather well, I blame my previous difficulty on a poor presentation - either the lack of illustrations, or just poor organization of the writer's ideas.
You know, perhaps this should have been the first paragraph on this page, but
illustrations as well as clearly written material are important in any writing.
Too many web pages I come across have such grammar as to indicate a limited knowledge
of the English language, which I love. Such pages should not be written. They should
be left alone, in the first place, to not take valuable space on the Internet.
Don't you agree that if there wasn't so much traffic, that the clearly written information
you seek, could theoretically be accessed and downloaded more quickly?
English Grammar 101
English Grammar 101 skills are missing in many of the things written on the Internet today.
To those web page designers: If you can't use the English language properly, get the hell out !
If you're a web page designer, or in charge of your site's content and can't make your point clear, at least do the right thing and take a fundamental course in English. In the meantime, let qualified people do the writing. Explain what you want to put on the Internet, and let a qualified person who understands the complex language of English put it on the Internet.
(Let's not forget, though that illustrations go well with words, and seek to have illustrations placed on your web page, along with all the words.)
Use either a spell-checker, a dictionary, or don't bother. The world is trashy enough.
Don't clutter up the internet with misspelled words, and other mis-use of grammer which just wastes peoples' time. Personally, I created everything with the Windows Notepad applet and am forced to proof-read my work, several times. I don't use automated web page tools as I find it more difficult to open the html source anyway, and remove the extra tags that such applications insert. You are certainly welcome to your preference, if your available web space allows.
It all comes down to an effective presentation
3. Commerce Web Sites
It's commerce sites that I hope will take special heed of my ideas.
All too often, I'm turned off from purchasing something from an e-commerce site, due to the
simple fact that I don't feel safe making the purchase with my credit card. If you notice errors of any kind on a commerce site, doesn't
that make you question the accuracy of the programs that are to
then process your credit card ? So, making a page clear, and easy to understand are the keys to smooth transactions, worry-minimized customers, and well informed Internet surfers.
If in doubt, put it in ! (except for the clutter)
Word for word, text uses thousands of bytes less than a graphic of the same area.
So why not include an extra sentence or two, if it's going to clear up your main idea ?
There is way too much assumption on the writer's part. This may be due to laziness - the fact that fewer words may save space and draw the reader closer to the page - to keep the reader from leaving the page. Trust me folks, as a consumer, that is not the way to do it. White space if not used effectively is just that - white space.
Clutter is to be avoided at all costs. Nothing turns more people away from a site than overwehlming clutter.