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BAD WEB DESIGN A TURN-OFF

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WEBWATCH

Someone recommended this website to me by saying it was, 'one of the most unreadable, most insufferable websites I've accessed.

It takes forever to tell you absolutely nothing'.

Actually, according to Stephen Donald Architects, www. sda-net. com is not a website but a webstation. On the home page you are offered plug-ins, entry to the site and the opportunity to read a long bit of white text on blue. This turns out to be an explanation of the site. Once on the plug-in page, you can only escape by using your own back button.

When you start over again, up comes some really bad computer music, five big circles (these are section buttons) and some banal quotes. You try to remember bits from the previous white/ blue ramble because all the headings in the circles are kind of obscured by the graphics. Somewhere in here is a standard information structure. Somewhere.

'Please be patient', says the webstation, cheekily.

'The ideas and information are well worth waiting for'. Look guys, here are some ideas and information for free - firstly, the Web isn't print; secondly, less is more, especially with text; thirdly, websites have to be self-explanatory by design not text; and lastly, nobody on the Web will wait for you - because they don't have to.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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