AJ Pope

About AJ Pope

William “A.J.” Pope joins Beacon with over 3 years of experience in web and UX design. Having earned his B.A. Degree in Media Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, A.J. enjoys spending time with his wife and their Pomeranians as well as playing video games and investigating new restaurants within the Triad.

Sean Connery’s 5 Design Elements That Make Sites Look Outdated

How do you know when your website looks outdated and needs a refresh? When your engagement metrics slide, that’s a pretty good indicator. Sometimes, it’s even more obvious than that.

Such is the case with the website of a well-known celebrity. It’s the perfect example of a digital public face in dire need of cosmetic surgery.  Or a car wreck you can’t turn away from. This, in a nutshell, is SeanConnery.com.

As a public service, I offer my observations to you and the beloved actor. In the interest of pure fun, each anecdote references a famous James Bond quote. Guess the movie and win a prize. (Mr. Connery, you don’t qualify).

Without further ado, I bring you the 5 design elements that make any site look outdated:

#1 Design Layout

“Well, one of us smells like a tart’s handkerchief.”Sean, I hate to be the one to break it to you but it’s you. The layout you’ve chosen is right out of the 1970’s. The design is anchored in the upper left corner. Its three column layout with two side gutters is positively nostalgic. That’s not a good thing, Sean. The type becomes very small and hard to read. The URL is in the header. I haven’t seen anything like it since the McCarthy hearings.

#2 It’s Not Responsive

“Good morning, gentlemen. ACME pollution inspection, we’re cleaning up the world, we thought this was a suitable starting point.” – All the top Hollywood gossip sites are mobile friendly, which should tell you all you need to know about this audience’s behavior, Sean.  If I were assigned with ridding the internet of digital pollution, I’d start here.

#3 No Video

“Ejector seat? You’re joking!” – You’ve appeared in over 60 films, won an Academy Award and 3 Golden Globes. And yet Mr. Connery, you have no video on your site. You must be joking. Video drives engagement. You need the attention. You’re not exactly getting a lot of parts these days. Where’s the paparazzi when you need ‘em? Probably on YouTube.

#4 No Social Media

“Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She’s just dead. – Celebrities thrive on attention. In this day and age, there are no better or more necessary channels than social media outlets such as Facebook, Twiiter, Snapchat and Pinterest. Hell, Pierce Bronsnan has a social media presence and he can’t act his way out of a paper bag.

#5 The Website Requires Flash

“Red wine with fish. Well, that should have told me something.” – Yes, it’s a website with Flash. That’s the software Adobe will discontinue in 2020. ‘Nuff said.

 Just Say Dr. No.

If SeanConnery.com reminds you, dear reader, of your website, just say “no”. It’s time for a redesign. NOW. If you have any questions on anything above, wish to add a comment or contribute another example of web atrocities, please leave a comment or email me here.

Answer key to quotes above:

#1 Diamonds Are Forever

#2 Diamonds Are Forever

#3 Goldfinger

#4 Thunderball

#5 From Russia With Love

AJ Pope
William “A.J.” Pope joins Beacon with over 3 years of experience in web and UX design. Having earned his B.A. Degree in Media Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, A.J. enjoys spending time with his wife and their Pomeranians as well as playing video games and investigating new restaurants within the Triad.
By | 2017-11-08T13:28:06+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Creative Design|Comments Off on Sean Connery’s 5 Design Elements That Make Sites Look Outdated

Hand Over Your Browser. You’ve been Scroll-Jacked!

New websites are all about upgrading your look and having the smoothest, most intuitive experience possible for your users. Would you ever think to yourself, “What can I possibly do to massacre my User Experience and make my site frustrating to navigate?” No? Surprisingly, many sites are still doing that in a design trend that we will certainly not see the last of in 2016.

I’m talking about Scroll-Jacking.

Scroll-Jacking (most often confused for Parallax Scrolling) is not quite as ominous as it sounds, but it can feel very unnatural and ultimately steer people away from your website. Scroll-Jacking is taking a user’s scrollbar and navigation elements away and forcing them to progress through animations or images by scrolling the mouse’s wheel up or down.

Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Take a look here at a website by the Alzheimer’s Research UK.

AlzheimersResearch

All done? Sure, the Dementia Lab looks really cool, but I chose it as an example because it shares many common problem amongst sites of this kind.

A big problem you’ll see within seconds of visiting the site is a loading bar. There are so many images and functions running here these sites can reach 10mb and up. If your connection is slow, you may be waiting a while. And most users hate waiting.

Assuming everything loaded properly and you are now in the site – you can start scrolling your way through this information. What you have probably noticed is that information is whizzing past you even on a slower scrolling speed. Sites that use scroll-jacking functions feel so unusual because it is not what we as web users expect or are used to. You are expected to adapt to speeds and scrolling patterns defined by the designer or you can end up completely scrolling past information without ever knowing it.

Another problem you will often find is that you have to scroll a lot in order to see everything the site has to offer. I have found myself scrolling more than 75 times for one page – what a workout!

Flash Vs HTML5 takes everything a step further not just by leaving out a quick navigation from each information point to another, but by taking scrolling out altogether and forcing you to drag the page up in a very unnatural movement. By the time I was halfway down the page, it felt gimmicky and I just wanted it to end.

fvhtml

So, as the new year kicks off and you are considering ways to revamp you or your client’s website, let us consider the history of web design and what users have come to expect from their web experience and just let this become just another fad. We don’t want to make life harder than it already is.

AJ Pope
William “A.J.” Pope joins Beacon with over 3 years of experience in web and UX design. Having earned his B.A. Degree in Media Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, A.J. enjoys spending time with his wife and their Pomeranians as well as playing video games and investigating new restaurants within the Triad.
By | 2017-06-16T12:27:51+00:00 January 25th, 2016|Web Development|Comments Off on Hand Over Your Browser. You’ve been Scroll-Jacked!
Load More Posts