Monday, November 1, 2010

And Now For An Important Mess...

Lord knows I don't know much about web design - I am, after all, a coder primarily, and if we were left in charge, most web sites today would still be black text on a plain gray background.

But I do know that I don't like this:

This is a weather alert box on The Weather Channel's web site. If you can't read the text, it says "Severe Thunderstorm W....".

Now, there are two possible endings to this phrase: "Watch" or "Warning". And they mean two different things. One means that it could happen, one means that it is actually happening or is imminent. And you should take different action depending on which one it is.

Unfortunately, the way they chose to lay out this text makes it impossible to tell. Yeah, you could click through - in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal - but that's an extra step you have to take to view one of the more important pieces of information this web site actually provides. It's the difference between good design and adequate or poor design.

Of course, the cynic in me then realizes that having an extra mouse click means they get to serve up another set of banner ads. I've really got to work on that cynicism.

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