KillerSites Blog

Web Usability

The Death of the JavaScript onMouseover

November 11, 2014

Hi!

In JavaScript, you have a bunch of events that you can tell the web browser to watch for. Here is a short list:

  • onclick
  • onmouseover
  • onmousedown

… There are many more. The proper nerd-term for all these is ‘event listeners’ – they ‘listen’ for events to happen and when they do (ex: someone clicks on a something,) you can have JavaScript fire off some function.

Event Attributes

Instead of using JavaScript to apply eventlisteners (using the addEventListener() method) to tags on your page, you can simply use HTML event attributes. For example:

<p onclick="aFunction()">
This is some text.
</p>

In the above code, I tell the browser that if someone clicks on the paragraph tag, that the ‘aFunction’ function should be activated. Nerds will refer to this as  ‘calling a function’ instead of activating.

The Death of onMouseover?

The onMouseover event listener ‘listens’ for someone to hover their mouse over the element (HTML tag) that it is bound to – like what we did with the paragraph tag above and the onclick event.

It’s a sweet effect and works on all the browsers, except it doesn’t work on mobile devices – that sucks! You have to remember that within a few years, more than 50% of the Web’s traffic will be mobile traffic – people using smartphones and tablets.

Basically, that means you should probably not use onMouseover event listeners.

Stefan Mischook
KillerSites.com

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Building an Effective Online Store

June 21, 2013

shopping cart

Hi,

Before I get into the article, I would like to mention two things:

  1. We’ve updated and simplified the killervideostore.com website. In the article below, I talk about some lessons learned from website updates like this.
  2. We just released a new video training package, the Web Developer from Scratch

… If you’ve been thinking about learning professional level PHP and JavaScript … here you go!

Quick Lessons in e-commerce

Here are a few things to learn from my recent update to the Killervideostore.com website:

  1. If adding something to a page/site DOES NOT have any measurable impact, remove it.
  2. Remember that people tend to skim pages, so keep that in mind when structuring your UI.
  3. Seemingly small things can have a big impact on user behaviour and sales.

Remove the unnecessary:

I am always experimenting with different variations to the layouts of our pages – adding/removing buttons, adding a video, replacing link text to image buttons etc … The thing you should always strive for is simplicity – remove what is not needed. Buttons, videos and images that don’t do anything are actually distracting the user.

We recently added a video in our header, introducing the video store to anyone who cared to clicked on the video … very few did. In fact, only about 6% of bothered. Conclusion: waste of space. And so we removed the video.

Check out the old killervideostore header- with video in place:

killervideoStore-may-2013

.. Just click on the above thumbnail to see what it was like.

Now compare it to the new killervideostore header.

People Skim Pages:

When people come to a website, they skim the pages quickly … unless you catch their attention with something. So you need to remove clutter from the page to increase the chances that people will find what they are looking for.

Little Things can be Big Distractions!

I can’t overstate how important it is, that you make changes to your websites very cautiously … especially when you have something that is working.

Over and over again, I’ve been amazed at how even seemingly simple things, can have a huge impact on user behaviour. For example, we once turned our store pages from a light green to a dark green … and watched sales immediately drop 50%! We then reversed back to our old lighter green and sales jumped right back up.

I hope you found this useful.

Stefan Mischook
killerSites.com

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Simplifying a Web Store

November 15, 2012

simple design is best

Hi,

We have been on a mission recently here at KillerSites.com – a mission to simplify. I’ve even given the mission a name:

Project Simplify!

… Yes, very original.

Simple is hard to do …

Anyone with any design experience (and programming experience) can tell you that simplifying is a hard thing to do. It takes a lot of experience to be able to strip away the non-essential elements from a web page while still keeping it functional. As I stated in a previous blog post, web design is more like sculpting and less like painting; you want to strip away from the page to reveal the final product … rather than add to it.

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Web design is like sculpting, not painting.

October 30, 2012

Hi!

Many years ago, during the time of the dinosaurs, I was taught a very important rule about the perfection of technique:

… The master’s movement is polished, minimal, without waste or clutter. One of the primary goals of a martial artist, is to strip away non essential movement, and to clear ones mind of distracting thoughts.

What the heck does this have to do with web design?

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Is our home page too commercial looking?

June 28, 2010

Hi,

I always find it a challenge to balance the aesthetic of the site, while still keeping it usable. On top of that, I don’t want to overload visitors with my sales pitch (for my video courses) … yet I still want to sell videos.

🙁

New Video Courses

This blog post itself is an example of that; I want to mention our new web design video training packages, but I also want to give you guys some useful information. So first, the useful information:

The Web ‘likes’ the soft sell.

That means that your product information should be interwoven with something useful or interesting. Pretty simple.

So back to our new home page with the rotating top banner .. pretty nifty stuff and easily done with JQuery … something we teach come to think of it!

😉

So my question to you is, do you think our home page is becoming too commercial?

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook
www.killersites.com

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Drive traffic to your website by keeping it active.

February 21, 2010

Hi,

After weeks of being good and not eating much junk food, I decided to treat myself to a steak submarine – 14 inchs no less! Anyway, within a few hours, I started to get those creepy-crawly’s in my legs and this morning, after having a tea, I started to feel like gagging.

!!

Lesson learned: no more subs and junk food. OK, back to web design business …

In the following video, I go over why you should keep you website looking active and I provide five tips on how to do this. But, just in case you don’t have time to watch a video, here are the bullet points:

  • Keep the copyright notice up-to-date.
  • Add a last ‘updated note’ – for example: Last update February 21st 2010
  • Add a blog and post on a regular basis.
  • Redesign/update the website once and a while.

The video:

Thanks for watching!

Stefan Mischook
www.killersites.com

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Web Usability Tip: less graphics in a web page please!

February 18, 2010

web usability

Hi,

In the following video on Web usability, I talk about how fancy images can actually hurt your web pages in terms of ease of use. Watch the video for details:

About Web Usability

Making a website more user friendly is a tricky thing, because often times what looks good (in terms of design) actually gets in the way of the user – beautiful graphic often times makes the page more confusing. So, the tricky part is to make it look good while keeping it simple.

My Web usability tips:

  • Pictures should NOT be links to click on.
  • Use text links that stand out.
  • Use icons and images that provide information about the links around it.

There is much more to be said about this.

Stefan Mischook
www.killersites.com

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