In which I bitch about the ‘improvements’ we’re seeing on sites net-wide, because they’re not making things work better, they’re just fads of style.
The Internet is now being built by people so young they have never lived in a world without it. They’ve been online all their lives and probably started coding as tweens. They barely remember the elegance of plain old HTML; the ‘net has always been client-side apps stuffed into browsers to them.
Now they’ve got jobs designing the resources many of us use on a daily if not hourly basis. Every so often they decide to redesign and modernize whatever property they work on (because WE HAVE TO FIX IT even if IT AIN’T BROKEN). Then you get shit like the new improved Flickr, a site I have loved and used for years, which basically no longer works and, to add insult to injury, is just plain ugly. Same with the last Twitter update, and the redesigns of basically every large web property ever. Some old guy retires, the new guy says LET’S BRING THIS SHIT INTO THE FUTURE, and then it’s a bloated abortion of a service that has so much crap buried in each page you can’t even load the site on half your devices.
The following things have become pretty much standard on all sites and yet they all suck and they all piss me off:
- Continuous scroll – Fuck this. Pagination is better. Eternal scroll just fucking hammers resources, isn’t cool, breaks paging Back, accomplishes nothing in any case ever except for long reads of Tumblr accounts WHICH NEVER HAPPENS EVER, and the fact that everyone is doing it does not reduce the fact that it fucking sucks.
- Pages that won’t stop loading when you click Stop – LISTEN, I DONT WANT TO WAIT FOR ALL THAT SHIT TO LOAD. I ONLY WANT TO SEE WHAT’S BENEATH THE FOLD FOR LIKE FIVE FUCKING SECONDS. I AM NOT GOING TO LOOK AT ANY OF THE SHIT YOU’RE STUFFING INTO MY BROWSER RIGHT NOW, ASSHOLES.
- Putting the content I want under the fold – Fuck you. Fuck your ad revenue. Fuck your layout. I followed a link here to see your CONTENT, and all you’re doing for the first 32 seconds of my visit is hiding that from me and showing me a bunch of crap.
- Non-local authentication only – Fuck you, I do NOT want to link my Google, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts to your stupid recipe site. That information is none of your goddamned business.
- Endless push notifications as default – Listen, I don’t give a fuck that 20 friends are chatting on Facebook. Your stupid apps BLEW THE FUCK UP, ON EVERY DEVICE I HAVE when that chat started. Jesus.
- Video – Listen, embedding video on a landing page is fucking AWFUL. You’re wasting my time and I DON’T WANT TO SEE IT, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS. I CAME HERE FOR SOMETHING ELSE, AND YOU’RE FORCING A FUCKING VIDEO AT ME? It’s because of assholes like you that I have to leave my speakers turned off at work.
- Meaningless pages requiring redundant clicks – I’m looking at you, Pinterest, Yummly: I clicked on something and I want to SEE IT. So fucking take me there! I DO NOT want to click through your stupid interim page that does nothing at all but require me to CLICK AGAIN to go where you already know I want to go. FUCK your ad revenue; you’re wasting my time and resources and pissing me off and that’s why I quit using your sites.
- Sites so unusable in a browser you can basically only interact with their content through mobile apps – The Flickr and Facebook mobile apps beat the actual websites hands-down. Unfortunately the apps aren’t available on all my devices, which pisses me off. (I want Flickr for Kindle Fire, goddamn it.)
- Sites that simply don’t work at all if you have AdBlock enabled – LOOOOL YOUR CODE SUCKS, SON.
- The need for AdBlock in the first place – Dude, I get you need to monetize. I honestly don’t mind ads on web properties; it’s when you slam them down my throat and hide your real content so coyly that I give up on it altogether that I think you’re a fucking jerk.
I love having so much information available at all times. I love the ubiquity of bandwidth these days. I love my phone and my worstations and my tablet. What irritates me is time-wasting bad design and the endless reinventions of wheels that already worked.