We all understand
value of positive and professional communication in e-commerce.
There is no disagreement that communication channels should project
a positive and professional image about your company. Your website
being a major part of your communication channel, indeed your face
to outside world - must project a positive image about your company.
Unfortunately, when it comes to website design many
of us forget this simple fact. Instead of being sensitive to customers'
concern and need for information, we fall for technology showmanship
or other strange considerations. Sad part is - many of us do not
even realize how awful or messy our websites actually look !
This week - let us discuss the features of a messy
website or 'How to drive away customers and spread negative image
about your company'
How to Drive Customers Away
Force every visitor to register before they can
enter your site. For a thorough and professional job - make
them fill out a lengthy form, giving you a lot of detailed information
that you will never use. Make every field compulsory.
Start your home page with a huge graphic, preferably
totally meaningless. However, visitors will never get to know
until all of 1 Mb is fully downloaded. Never make it interlaced,
do not specify HEIGHT and WIDTH tags, and by all means never
use ALT tags.
Be really creative on title - make it ambiguous
and meaningless like "Home Page," or "Welcome to our Site!!!"
Make the home page really cryptic to baffle any
Columbus making it through the registration and lengthy graphic
download. Avoid simple labels like "Contact Us," "About Us",
"Our Catalog," "Services We Offer," "Frequently Asked Questions"
etc. Get really imaginative in naming your sections (e.g. "Take
Off !", "Buzz the Bean" etc.) "Cool Stuff" is an old standby
that still doesn't work.
Have a "vision", "mission", "goals" and "objectives"
statements. Ensure that these statements reveal nothing about
the actual services you offer.
How to Project Negative Image
Use lots of continuous text without white spaces
around. Sentences should be long and winding. The idea is to
make it long and ambiguous to leave every visitor gasping for
Pay special attention at spelling and grammatical
mistakes. Nothings spreads negative images as much as miss-spelt
words and silly grammatical mistakes.
Always use lots of exclamation points and, be
sure to put commas, where they don't belong!!!!!!!!
Page layout is one of the easiest things to do
badly on a website. Always use plenty of horizontal rules and
bulleted lists. Make columns either narrower than 1" or wider
Never check your pages on different browsers,
because what looks dreadful on Netscape might look unacceptably
good on Internet Explorer.
Remember, you have almost unlimited colours and
fonts at your disposal. Use as many of them as you can. Let
the world know what a creative guy you are.
Always avoid navigational links - let visitors
wander around your site aimlessly. Visitors must spend quite
some time appreciating your talent before making anything about
of the company.
Do not care about broken links - visitors anyway
will find what they are looking for.
down pages or display strange messages. Damn the content, you
must display your programming prowess !
Never use meta tags - search engines may then
pick your site leading to more visitors at your site. If you
must use meta tags, make sure they are thoroughly confusing
and misleading so that search engines either do not touch you
or index your site in wrong category.
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 3, Issue 26
October 17' 2002
Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various
capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development,
MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce
venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of
his own. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org