I’m sure you’ve visited web sites which seem to have been organized by a monkey or chimpanzee. Well, I’ve been to sites where a money could have done a better job. Lousy menu systems (if there are any menus at all), no easy way to back up, no coherent theme at all.

What qualifies as bad organization?

  • Sites which are just one incredibly long page, going on and on forever, seemingly without end.
  • A site which has no underlying theme – it just seems to be about nothing and everything. These can be mildly interesting, but I find I quickly loose interest as there are so many sites like this on the net.
  • We have all visited schizophrenic sites – places which do not seem to be able to make up their mind what they are about. One page is straight out of the ’70’s, complete with loud colors and rock music, and the next is gothic.
  • Of course one of the most annoying types of sites is the one with lots and lots of broken links. I know that a bad link or two is inevitable for any web site (especially one with lots of external links), but come on, more than a few is too many.
  • Sites with “content” which is really an attempt to get someone to click on a link so the webmaster earns a penny. These have some tempting graphic which says “click here” and when you do you are on some other site which has nothing to do with the graphic.
  • Sites with zillions of banners which are interspersed with content which makes it difficult to tell the content from the ads.
    Sites with popups, pop behinds (a pop up which goes behind the main window), exit consoles (a window which pops up upon exit), entrance consoles (a windows which pops up on entrance) and any number of other gimmicks.
  • Another common problem – sites which have pages which are too short. I’ve seen some sites with one line pages. This is even more annoying than long pages.
  • Any site of any length which does not have a site map, search engine or some way to find things is making it difficult for their visitors.
  • Commercial sites which make it difficult to make a purchase.
    • Shopping cart difficult to find
    • Don’t accept credit cards
    • No way to get more information about the products
    • No way to call customer support for issues
    • No contact information
    • No prices
    • No shipping information

So what qualifies as good organization?

  • Good use of tables to organize a site on a page
  • A well thought out navigational system
  • Good use of graphics, color and text
  • A common theme which ties together the whole site
  • Common navigational elements (buttons, text links and so on)
  • Virtually all links (especially internal links) working

Sites which are well organize tend to pull visitors deeper and deeper. Visitors want to come back again and again, partially because they can find what they want when they want it. There is not confusion about what the site is about and what it is trying to accomplish.