The Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Lookup Makers Make
Yes, we all know how important lookups are; they are in fact the first thing you see even before the number of avatars, trophies, or those adorable little neopets. Thankfully, there are a few decent lookups out there, but more often than not it looks like your photo-editing software exploded, and you decided to upload the image and call it your own. Kind of like that Hand Knitted Jumper we got from the Advent Calendar in Year 6, hm?
Of course, we are only scratching the surface of the mistakes people tend to make while creating their masterpieces, but here are the most detrimental. So if you're going to make a lookup, please avoid these mistakes at all costs. The other mistakes? They're tolerable. But these? Like nails on a chalkboard, m'dear.
#10 – Navigation, anyone?
When people do make a lookup, two thirds of them cover up the sidebar and an additional half of them do not include some sort of navigation. We do not all like clicking the back button, dear. Will it kill us? No, but be considerate.
#9 – Not everyone loves Jazzmosis.
#8 – Glitters, Dolls, and... wow, you should be a Krawk?
In this mistake, I shall simply state the overused, cliché, you’ve-heard-it-a-billion-times phrase, less is more. While you may think that everyone is just DYING to see your latest quiz result, please save us the immeasurable joy of that revelation. This also includes those fake "Something Has Happened!" events. It clutters that lookup and is not very pleasing to the eye. Would I lie to you?
#7 – I don’t know what color to use – so let's use them all!
I call this one the rainbow syndrome. Many Neopians do not know the advantage of a color scheme. Now unless you're wanting a rainbow lookup – meaning you're going for a rainbow theme - I would not go beyond 3-4 colors that look good together. Also, if your image and background is pink and gray, do not make your links green. Neostats are your friends.
#6 – Let’s cover everything up so nobody will know anything about my account!
Covering neostats. This concept completely and utterly confounds me. I mean, ultimately that is what a lookup is for, is it not? Now I know sometimes the stats are incredibly inconvenient. I mean, it is so hard to make a text box and div! Honestly, not only is it against the rules, but extremely annoying. This also includes making your pets and shield invisible. I quite like looking at a player's pets, and I’d like to do it without having to click on each and every individual link The lookup is FOR the stats and pets; it is intended to showcase them. Remember, they are your friends.
#5 – B... B... But .png makes it pretty!
There are many different kinds of formats that an image may be saved as, the most common being .jpg, .gif, and .png. While .jpg and .gif may make the image slightly fuzzy, .png takes longer than the Wheel of Monotony to load. News flash: we have a life. .png does not make THAT much of a difference. Not all of us are blessed with a fast internet connection, and frankly, your lookup is not pretty enough to make me wait 10 minutes to view it.
#4 – The image is not big enough, so let’s make it bigger!
There it is! The perfect picture for your lookup, A Mysterious Valentines Card. Now an image that was once 40 x 40, is now 300 x 200. No matter how much sharpening, this is always a bad idea. Same with bad quality images you find. EVEN if you save it as the turmy-paced format that is .png, it will still look horrid. Take the time to find crisp, good quality images. You will be awarded for your patience and time.
#3 – A scrollbar there... and oh! A scrollbar there...
Lazy coding, that is what I call it. If you're going to give us your entire life story in the "About Me" section of your lookup, plan ahead and make the box long enough so that a scrollbar doesn’t decide to pop up. Most browsers will not accept the html that makes a scrollbar invisible. The only scrollbar that we should see is the one on the far right hand side.
#2 – Congratulations, I am officially blind.
Dark text on a dark background is a definite no-no. Same with a light background and a light font. Also, make sure that your text is bigger than a needle’s point. We don’t all have a magnifying glass next to the computer.
#1- But coding for all the browsers is hard!
Yes, the biggest mistake by far, is not being cross-browser friendly. I know, some browsers accept a sloppier form of coding, but just because you use that browser does not mean that you should not code for the people who do not. If you do not have the browser that your lookup is not working for, try and download it, or have a friend view your lookup until you get it right.
Remember, when making your user lookup you should also be designing it for the visitor, not just the maker. Have fun with the lookup, be proud of it whether you are a NT writer or an avatar collector. Be proud of your shield whether you are one week old or six years. Keep the chat speak out, and make it your own personal piece of art. A lookup is just a canvas, waiting to be discovered.