Are You Getting The Best Browsing Experience?

January 13, 2011

Not too long ago I got a note from a loyal reader with some suggestions for improving the browsing experience at unleash.com. This reader was very frustration with the navigation controls he found on the site and suggested we add some sort of navigation bar to the site. I initially scratched my head because there is a navigation bar at the top of each page. Then I wondered if the user wasn’t seeing the navigation bar because he wasn’t getting Flash in his browser. As soon as I had composed a response with that suggestion, I got a reply back saying that he felt really dumb because he was using a browser add-in to block Flash graphics.

Now some of you will say there is no navigation bar at the top of this blog and you would be correct. The blog is a standalone site stored on a Google server and we are unable to upload files. Therefore we are unable to use the same navigation bar. We also don’t feel the navigation bar is necessary since the blog serves a single purpose and that is to hold the various blog posts. There is a search box in the right sidebar if you need to look for a specific subject that was covered in previous posts.

One of the points I want to make in this post is that you may be trying so hard to block content you find annoying that you are also blocking content that is quite useful. Flash is a very important technology in the graphics world and we have no hesitation using it for the navigation on the Graphics Unleashed Web site. We also understand that there are people who use Flash in all kinds of annoying ways, some of which could be harmful to a computer that doesn’t have good security software. If you are using some sort of add-in to block the use of Flash, I can only ask you to allow Flash to be seen on the unleash.com domain. We’re not going to use Flash in an annoying way, we’ll only use it for navigation or to educate you in some way.

While I am discussing blocking, I’d also like to address ad-blocking software. There are sites that do all kinds of annoying things to put ads in front of visitors. Some of you might say what we do is annoying. What we don’t do is have pop-ups, pop-unders or crazy things that fly around in front of the content on your screen. All of our ads are in fixed positions that doesn’t cover up any content. These ads are also a very important source of income for us. If you are using ad-blocking software, I am going to ask if you can tell it not to block the ads at unleash.com. Of course, I’d also appreciate it if you find something advertised interesting, that you check it out. Any single user isn’t going to bring us more than a few pennies. Yet it does make a difference when many users are involved. Please allow the ads and support the advertisers if you appreciate the content we provide! It is that income that helps to motivate us to create even more content. Thanks for your support!

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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