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8. originality

Don't use overused images
Animated mailboxes, skittering cats, horizontal rules, new explosion icons, rotating skulls, ad nauseum -- they're overused, tacky, and boring. Don't use them.

Be aware of copyrights and trademarks
Copying owned materials without permission is not only dishonest, dull, and boring, but it's also copyright infringement. Don't do it.

Don't exploit the multiple-BODY animation bug
In some versions of some browsers, multiple BODY tags with different color schemes would result in an obnoxious full-window color animation sequence before the content loads. Not only is it obnoxious, but it exploits a bug and isn't standard. Don't do it.

Avoid overused fonts for titles and logos
Yes, we've all seen Bauhaus, Tekton, Lithos, and the other commonly-overused fonts. Do your users a service and try something different.

Avoid guestbooks
Everyone has a guestbook. They don't serve much purpose. If you want feedback, ask for email.

Don't try to impress your users; intrigue them
Site after site does its best to impress its users. It gets boring after a while, and the more flash and pizazz you provide the less your users will be interested. Try emphasizing the message rather than the medium.

Avoid new technologies for their own sake
New, cutting-edge technologies can be interesting, but the vast majority of your users won't be able to use them. Don't make it the main medium for your message.

Don't use Web counters
Web counters are double-edged swords; users who get much fewer hits than you will think you're making it up, and users who get many more hits than you will think you're petty and pointless. Counting Web hits is important when examining how your site is doing for your own records; it doesn't belong on the main pages of your site. Free Web counters, in particular, are often slow or broken -- which makes your users think that you're incompetent.

Don't refer to yourself as an authority of the Web
Oh, boy, another Diva? Wow, another King? Another Queen, another Mistress? Give it a rest, you're just embarassing yourself.

Don't use scrolling text on the status line
Use of Javascript will allow you to place scrolling text on the status line of the browser when they hit the page, or when they roll over buttons. This is annoying, and defeats the purpose of the status line -- to tell the user what the browser is going to do, not what you want them to see. Avoid this.
7 sisters production
next: typography
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