vendredi 1 décembre 2017

The cesspool of the modern corporate-driven web

Caution! Rant follows.

I hate modern web design. With a passion. Today's web designers have the attention span of a gnat with ADHD and a chronic case of "Oh, shiny!"

I go to a web site. Wait and wait, because it takes forever to load as it goes off to a hundred other servers to get content and no small amount of crap JavaScript that I really don't want running. (Literally--the Daily Mail's home page makes more than 500 requests to over 150 different URLs.) These days I run ad blockers and JavaScript blockers to get around this problem.

Start reading the site's content. BAM! The page darkens and a pop-up appears. JOIN US! GIVE US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO GET A PIDDLY DISCOUNT ON YOUR FIRST PURCHASE! Subscribe to our newsletter! Get our flyer delivered to your inbox every week! Would you like to take a site survey?

Go away! I'll subscribe to that crap at the end of my visit if I'm sufficiently interested. But only then, when I've at least had a chance to see if you're even worth it. (Hint: damned near 100% of time you aren't.)

Dismiss the box. Start reading the page again. Scroll down. CSS-based unmovable banner hogs a piece of the top of the page, and sometimes a strip off the bottom as well. If I'm on a laptop monitor I might have precious little vertical screen real estate as it is, and the site wants to obscure even part of that. And more annoyances! Sometimes unmovable side items eat into the text I'm trying to view because I don't run my browser full-width on a 1920 pixel wide screen like the designer does.

Scroll down a bit more. BAM! Flyout--NOW READ THIS TOTALLY UNRELATED ITEM! OH, DO YOU WANT TO CHAT WITH OUR CUSTOMER REPRESENTATIVE? (Yeah, right. Some minimum wage drone at a site in Dog knows what country who is in no way, shape or form connected with the company who's web site I'm at.) Now I have to take my attention away AGAIN from what I'm trying to read to get rid of the damned flyout!

Try to use the search feature. That is, if I can type something in when the SLIDER CHANGES EVERY TWO SECONDS AND YANKS MY ATTENTION AWAY FROM WHAT I'M TRYING TO TYPE. Press Enter. Nothing happens--too many idiot web designers require me to take my hand off the keyboard, find the mouse or touchpad, navigate to the "Search" icon, and click. Nothing happens--search is handled by a third party JavaScript (what--can't you just POST the information to a server?) Enable a bit more Javascript. Still no go. Enable all JavaScript for the site and reload the page twice to make sure it gets all the crap, and a whole whack of analytics and web trackers that I don't want tracking me! (I now have FaceBook, Google Analytics, and Twitter trackers pointing to in my hosts file, so nothing can connect to them.)

Look at the search results. Middle-click or ctrl+left-click to open an interesting result in a new tab. (Why? To return to the search results, all I need to do is close the new tab, instead of having to use the back button and wait for the results page to reload--and potentially lose my position. Also, with two or three tabs open I can quickly review differences in my selections.) Nothing happens. WHAT? Look at the mouseover text: the link is actually a little bit of JavaScript that doesn't respond to middle-click, or if it does it OPENS THE PAGE IN THE SAME WINDOW! News flash for web designers: tabs have been a thing on web browsers for over a decade now!

Look for contact page to complain about horrible site. If you're lucky there might be a form you can fill out. Maybe the form uses teeny tiny input boxes; most browsers these days let you re-size them, but tonight I hit a site that managed to disable even that! CAPTCHA! Can't read, or it's that awful Google "click all pictures that have X in them" captcha that you have to try two or three times to get it to work. (And I hate having to connect to Google for anything!)

Read a news site. All through the article are links to OTHER ARTICLES! Guys, I'm trying to read this article. I really dislike reading a sentence, only to realize it has NOTHING to do with what I'm trying to read about, and having to mentally throw it away and go to the next paragraph. And I'm constantly having to skip over embedded video windows. If I want to watch a video, I'll go to the video part of your site! Right now I'm reading your site.

Call me old-fashioned, but when I'm looking at a page I prefer it to be static. I don't appreciate having my attention distracted or otherwise yanked away from what I'm trying to consume by loads of other usually useless crap the site's owners and web designers are trying to shove at me.

via International Skeptics Forum

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