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The obvious choice isn’t always so obvious

choicesImagine you’re at a baseball game, waiting for it to start. At the conclusion of the singing of the National Anthem, everyone cheers and applauds. You should applaud too, right? Well, maybe…

As it turns out, there’s quite a lot of disagreement about the subject. At the crux of it is that the singing of the anthem should be used to lead the audience in singing, not as a performance to be applauded. You can do a search for it and determine your own response, but the point is that it’s not a cut and dried question.

Put the time on your outdoor sign

Or imagine you run a store and have an electronic display sign by the road. One of the features in most of those is an option to include the time and temperature, so you should do it to. Or you should you? Most cars driving by will only read one block of text, and that text should probably be related to an offering that you have. In my car I typically have three clocks in very close proximity (car clock, watch, phone), so showing me the time isn’t really very necessary.

iPhone is the best ever!

I’ve heard people say that they’ll “never get a phone other than iPhone” (or Android, or others), which seems very shortsighted. I’m firmly in the Android camp right now, and most of the rest of GreenMellen uses iPhone, but all of us pay close attention to the various phones and operating systems out there and choose what is best for us.

I used an iPhone for a while because it was best for me at the time, and I use Android now for the same reason. In the future it’s entirely possible that I’ll switch back to iPhone or over to Windows Phone, or on to some new operating system. Putting my foot down and saying that I’ll use Android forever is just silly.

Put a link to your designer in your footer

If you build a site for someone, you stick a link to your site in their footer, right? Everyone does it. Well, maybe not. We’ve discussed this idea for years, but we essentially feel that it’s a tacky move — it looks bad and is bad for SEO. On the other hand, it’s not really a huge deal, so you are free to come to your own conclusions. Just don’t think it should automatically be there simply because “everyone does it”.

Outbound links should always open in a new window

Another web-based idea that we hear a lot about is that outgoing links should always open in a new window so that users don’t “leave your site” when they click it. We agree that most outbound links should open in a new window, but not all of them. Consider your audience and make the right decision; don’t automatically do it every time.

Be free to change your mind.

We wrote a post a few years ago that quoted Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as saying “people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds“. As you gather new information about any subject, take that information and apply it, even if it means going against something that you previously believed.

At GreenMellen, we try to think past the obvious to do what is right, both in terms of technical and moral decisions. If you’re willing to take the time to think through what you’re doing, you may find that the “obvious” choice isn’t always the right one.

What are some “obvious choices” out there that you’ve looked into and came out with the opposite conclusion?

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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