Web Design Practices That People Need To Stop Doing


I spend a lot of time online during the day and there are lots of things I notice about the way certain websites are designed and developed. The fact is, some of them really annoy me and I wonder what they were thinking when they decided to design a site in this manner. There are just some things that web designers and developers just plain need to stop doing because it makes the internet a less enjoyable experience. Here are just a few:

All Flash Websites : Okay, I understand that you want to show off your Actionscript skills and how creative you are, but if you develop an entire site in Flash, you should get locked up. First of all, contrary to popular belief, not everyone has Flash installed on their computers. If I want to look at your site with my mobile device and all I get is the "you need to install Flash" message, then forget it. If I want information, I want it right away. I do not want to have to sit through your 10 day to load senior year art project just to read a lousy article. Yes, your website is very lovely, and it's cute to see the nifty mouse over animation of the butterfly exploding into a rainbow into a unicorn … now can I find out what your drink specials are already?

Complicated Navigation : This kind of goes along with the item above. Could you people just label your navigation items what they actually are? Enough with the clever metaphors for each item in the navigation. And no, I do not want to have to play through a half hour game of Space Invaders just so I can locate your contact form. Just spell everything out plain and simple so that people can get to where they need to get to on your page. This also applies to college websites which are one of the worst offenders. Instead of the creative clever and artsy navigation schemes, they just bury nested links within nested links. It's impossible to find anything. I do not want to feel like I'm jumping down a rabbit hole just so I can find your Human Resources phone number. Stop it.

Long & Drawn Out Forms : Why do lots of companies simply INSIST that you fill out a long pointless drawn out form simply so that you can get in contact with them? I just want to send you a resume ok. I do not want to write you a thesis on my life history and give you the address and profession of my third cousin. Some are even worse in forcing you to create a "profile" with a login and password. People, just STOP, okay, just STOP. It's really annoying and it turns people off from your website if you're forced to do things like this. And lots of the things you require to be filled out are incredibly intrusive. I'm not giving you my Social Security Number. I do not know you, you do not know me. Stop doing this. And if I see the message "sorry, you need to be logged in to do that" for something completely mundane, I'll reach in through my computer screen and strangle you.

The "Are You Sure You Want To Leave" Message: You've seen this one before. You try to navigate away from a webpage and all of the sudden, "pop", a warning message pops up. "Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page? OK to continue and Cancel to stay on the current page." What idiot thought this was a good idea to put on a website? If I want to leave your website, I'm pretty sure I can make this life changing decision without your intruding popup message trying to manipulate my indecisiveness. And what's even more annoying is that when I'm in a hurry, I'll end up clicking the wrong choice and end up stuck on the page again. Whatever marketing "genius" thought this was a good idea should have his degree burned.

Those Overly Blatant Sales Pitch Sites : Can you people stop making those single page shameless sales pitch sites that are just full of vague pitchy text that tells me about your product or service? If you want to sell a product, how about you make a nice information rich site that tells me about what you are trying to sell. You're not a drug dealer peddling down a dark alley in the projects okay? This is the message you put across when you publish a website like this. There's no way I'm going to send you $ 15 through PayPal so I can learn whatever amazing and life changing secret that you're just saying to tell me, no matter how many animated gifs and "as seen on TV" logos you plaster on your screen. These sites need to be wiped out like a swarm of mosquitoes.

Spamming Comment Forms With Your Shameless Plugs: You people royally P ** S me off. Do you REALLY think that I'm going to let your comment get through. "Viagra Overnight" Smith? If you people really want to get some links back to your site, why not engage in some sort of genuine conversation instead of doing what is basically the equivalent of barging into somebody's table at a restaurant and throwing a pile of fliers and brochures in their faces before running out the door. I really love it when they "try" to sound genuine on a comment form too, because it's just about as good acting as Keanu Reeves in Speed. I hate you spamming jerks and you need to die in a fire. This is just a few things that bother me about the web. There are a lot more, but I've been going on for days. I just hope some at least maybe one person out there sees this article before they decide to design that "nifty" flash website, or that "wonderfully detailed" contact form or that "blatantly shameless" marketing crap, and makes a change of heart. If not … well then … I'd like to punch you.


Leave a Reply