educational

Defeating Design Disasters

Stephen Yagielowicz

The world of adult e-commerce is far too competitive these days for websites to be allowed to fail from basic and common design mistakes. Whether you are building a new site or freshening up an existing property, the following considerations will ensure that you start with a firm foundation:

Careful Color Palettes. The early days of web design involved adhering to strict color palette choices, often limiting artists to 216 colors — hardly an ideal situation for rich graphical renderings (www.w3schools.com/html/html_colors.asp). While desktop designers need not worry about adhering to these limitations today, mobile-savvy designers targeting less-than Smartphone caliber devices with limited graphics capabilities may wish to revisit the 216 color palette; ensuring that color choices focus on clear readability and easing eye strain.

At a minimum, be sure your site works as intended in the latest versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer

Navigational Necessities. One of the primary goals of website designers should be to make the site’s content easily accessible to surfers; most of which may be first time visitors, unfamiliar with the site’s layout and structure. While flashy, animated menus are eye-catching, text links will provide a vital backup for users with older computer systems or those with the enhanced features such as JavaScript turned off. As an added bonus, plain text links are also easier for search engines to crawl.

Splash Page Seriousness. Many adult websites feature a splash or “warning” page, typically without explicit imagery and providing notice to visitors that the site contains age-inappropriate content. Tweak this page to lower bounce rates and to provide the fastest entry possible into your content pages, while still honoring your legal and social obligations. Remember, this is your only chance to make a first impression.

Standards Compliance and Cross-Browser Compatibility. While many inexperienced webmasters balk at the notion of chasing W3C standards compliance, having a compliant site that passes validation (validator.w3.org) is the easiest way to ensure the maximum level of crossbrowser, cross-platform compatibility — enabling websites to be displayed as uniformly as possible to the broadest audience. At a minimum, be sure your site works as intended in the latest versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer — something that should not be taken for granted.

While our suggestions are common sense, the percentages of sites that do not meet these criteria is both astounding and unnecessary — so evaluate your site in the context of the considerations outlined above and make any changes needed to see revenues grow.

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