CQ isn’t an official technical term. You won’t find it in any dictionary that I’m aware of. In fact, as far as I know, I just made the term up.
Your website’s cheesiness quotient is, in essence, its ability to make people say, “Oh my Gawd” (in the bad way). There are many factors that determine your website’s CQ. Following is a list of some of the worst offenders:
1. Flashing graphics.
You know the ones that say “new” or “click here” and keep flashing ad nauseam. Those are major eye sores and really distract and annoy visitors to your site.
2. MIDI (computer generated) music.
Although some music (say subtle classical music) can add a nice touch to certain websites, for the most part I’m against it. But, whatever you do, don’t put that horrible, loud, cheesy circus-like MIDI created stuff on your site. It just screams “unprofessional.”
3. Overuse of colours.
Especially bright colours. Not every line of text need to be in a different colour. Is looking at the page hurting your eyes? Colour can certainly be a very effective communication tool, but be careful not to go overboard.
4. Tables with thick borders.
Double the points for this one if they’re 3-D borders. Those just look awful. The thicker they are, the worse they look.
5. Cutesy animations.
Unless you’re selling children’s toys or stuffed animals, these rarely add anything positive to your site.
6. Over hyped marketing talk.
Yes, you need to get your message across. But does each sentence need to end with 16 exclamation marks?
7. Overuse of text formatting.
Sure, some points need to stand out more than others, but if most of your page is in huge font, bold, and/or italics, this formatting loses its effectiveness (and looks ugly).
8. Dark text on a black background.
If your site is going for the “goth” look, fine. But, at least make sure people can read the text.
I’m sure I’ve missed some characteristics that add to a site’s CQ score. And I’m sure people will email with their suggestions to be added. But you get the point.
Have a good look at your website. Does it contain any of the above items? If so, its CQ is probably creeping up there and it might be time to have it redesigned. Hey, even nicely designed sites need to be redesigned every couple of years. But, if your site’s CQ is high, you’re likely losing potential customers because of it and you might want to put a rush order (with the word “rush” flashing in big bright letters) on getting it redesigned.