web design badness

I’m not a web designer, but I am a web user. Web sites have started to follow some design rules over the years and things have gotten exponentially better, but there are still some common practices that I find frustrating. For anyone who cares here they are:

  • Flash

    Everyone uses flash, so what’s the big deal? Consistent interface is the big deal. When I’m working in a web environment I have certain expectations. I have my mouse setup to follow links a certain way, such as to open them in new tabs, windows, etc. I have an expectation about the context menus that will appear when I right-click an image, file, or other link. Flash breaks all of these things. It totally hijacks the usual behavior for input, and it implements it’s own behavior. That creates a horrible user experience that is consistently inconsistent.
  • Music

    Seriously, there is no reason for your website to play music. It’s unnecessary. If I’m a person who likes music, then I already have my own music playing long before I browse into your site. I’m not saying you can’t play music if I request it, but I should never have to hear it by default. One obvious exception is band websites. If the site specifically promotes a music group, you’re off the hook, but otherwise get rid of it.
  • Resizing and Repositioning

    This is without question the worst. If browsing into your site causes my browser window to change size or position, chances are I’ll close it right away. This is similar to my first issue with flash and its unexpected behavior. I know how I like my browser window. I made it just the size it is, and just the position it is in. A web designer should never presume that such things are arbitrary, and free to be tampered with as they see fit. If you can’t design a site that is dynamic enough for me to view it how I want to, then you don’t have any business designing websites. You should just send me a PDF.

That’s my four cents (that’s two 1982 cents with inflation).

January 29, 2009 at 7:04 am

@skoda on App.net @technochocolate on App.net