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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 8th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 4 > Articles > Shops: Blinded by the Colours

Shops: Blinded by the Colours

by Aya07

Pets love ‘em. Many folks have ‘em. What am I going on about? Shops, of course! Thought by most people to be the #1 way to make loads of NP without a lot of strain. Just pick “put into shop” from the handy drop-down menu, select a few options, and you’ve got yourself a deal.

Despite what you may be thinking, this isn’t going to be a “Make Your Shop a Success” article. The subject I’m going to address here is how shops actually look.

Why? When a customer enters your shop, chances are that they’re looking for a certain item, and that they usually won’t press the Back button just because the colour combination is creepy. Why make the effort, then? For the same reason that people don’t paint the grocery store lime-green and black: To make the customers feel comfortable. I’ll admit that in my time, I have yet to bookmark a shop because I like it. But chances are, that if you mix just the right amount of aesthetic quality and customer service into your shop, you’ll have something that people will enjoy visiting, if not bookmarking.

Where? I’ve noticed a lot of interesting shop add-on sites popping up lately. From MIDI files to backgrounds, and even some of those nasty I-Frames, letting your shop reflect your personality is becoming more and more popular these days.

Backgrounds: Solid colour, tiling, and even border backgrounds have been sighted around the Neopian Marketplace. The truth is, backgrounds don’t look so good with the NeoPets navigation system. Some of the thinner right-hand borders might look nice with the NeoPets layout, though.

Images: Used for various purposes, including advertising for guilds, awards, site links, and just for adding “pizzazz” to a shop. My advice is to blend them in with the background, or make them transparent. If you can’t do either, then just putting a quick border around the picture often helps with the leftover white (or any other colour) space.

Text and Fonts: Using gigantic text isn’t a very good idea, considering the fact that most people who use NeoPets are fairly literate in English. If you want to grab someone’s attention, going a few sizes above average and making the text a different colour usually serves the purpose quite well.

Cluttering: It’s become a fairly common practice with some, and it drives people who visit your shop crazy. If you insist on putting twenty-something images into your corner of the Marketplace, at least try and keep them in order. So many different colours and patterns can send some people into a state of shock, much like a deer in headlights. Text messages can be put into a compact scroller, which does a good job with all of the Shop Contests and whatnot.

Loading: One of the most important aspects of shop design, loading time is often overlooked when putting one together. If someone wants an item, chances are that they won’t wait for 5 minutes to get it. Unless you’re willing to sacrifice good NP for a flashy site, I suggest you shrink those pictures down a few pixels.

As you may have noticed, some of this is pure common sense and consideration on your part. Stick true to the famous “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” and you should be fine :) And, remember: It's your shop. This Aya07, signing off.

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