DISCUSS. · Internet · January 2013

[Insert snappy, eye-catching title here]

I’ve been working on the design of The Webways recently, and had a thought or two about here. I’ve got a few ideas, but mostly I know what I don’t want to do. Like have a background full of sparkly GIFs. Or go back to luminous font. Or cram the sidebar full of advertisements. Or display a hit counter.

I think all those things are pretty basic pet website hates, which one can build a portfolio of – especially if one uses a site regularly. It’s not just websites’ content that has the potential to get to me; I nearly had a fit when MCRmy.com changed its layout (it didn’t change completely. But enough to make me feel like I’d had a bad haircut). WordPress has updated itself this month too, going for a more ‘simplistic’ layout on the front page. It’s not bad, per se, but I liked the organisation of the previous one because I like detail. The BBC website, on the other hand, really grew on me even though I wasn’t sure about the slide-y bit at first.

So, I want to know what your pet website hates are. (‘Pet website hates’? ‘Website pet hates’. ‘Aspects of a website that make you want to shoot the designer’.) Include examples. What do you wish people would never include on their page? What do you wish they would? Do you prefer image-based sites or text-based ones? How do you feel about infinite scrolling? Don’t just leave it at websites, now I think about it… what’s your opinion on #hashtagging every other #word when you Tweet #something? Should one really never link up one’s Facebook and Twitter/Tumblr/YouTube/etc.?

I’m quite curious to see what people think. I mean, I like my websites, but I’m fully aware that – for The Webways at least – readability has to take precedent over what I think is pretty, because otherwise people won’t read.

And you thought that title was because I couldn’t think of what to say.

It was.


7 thoughts on “[Insert snappy, eye-catching title here]

  1. Sorry, but I just have to add to the variations of website/pet/hates by saying I hate pet websites.
    And wholeheartedly agree with the irritation caused by txt spk stuff. aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhhh.
    I have one friend (well, actually, I have more than one friend, but I digress) who persistently uses it on facebook. no! No!! NO!!!
    for instance – “Jst gt sons test results bac frm Hosp n alls GD thts such a relief 4 us 1 HPPY MUM” and “Decs dwn 4 another yr house cleaned frm top 2 bottom bac 2 wrk 2moz bac 2 sum sort of normality”
    it takes me far longer to read as I have to interpret what’s being said. and in terms of writing it, it must take longer to write cos you’d have to think of what letters to omit (apparently it’s predominantly vowels( whilst still keeping the intent of your message reasonably intact. But it’s the same abbreviation for ‘your’ and ‘year’. And why are some words uppercase? it bugs the hell out of me! Just use proper words, convey your message accurately and without ambiguity. The English language evolved for that purpose and whilst change is inevitable, this is not a trend I will succumb to.

    And keep your hashtags for twitter (or instagram too if that’s appropriate though I wouldn’t know as it’s a site I’ve yet to explore beyond laughing at Frank’s pics!). Using them on Facebook is pointless. No. It’s not ironic. It’s ridiculous and serves no purpose.

    The Youtube autoplay discussion was one that I had earlier today with my son! He has a channel that he uploads his xbox gameplays to (let’s rephrase so that it doesn’t end with a preposition – “to which he uploads his xbox gameplays”!). He wondered whether to set the featured video to autoplay … and his conclusion was precisely that – it’s really annoying if you’ve opened a few tabs to view things and one or more of them starts playing, then you’ve got to search through to find which one has done so. It’s annoying and time consuming – and he decided that he would allow viewers to decide what they wanted to watch.

    But it’s not just youtube – there’s other sites (such as news sites – particularly US ones) where somewhere on the page an embedded video starts playing. Depending on the mood I’m in, they’re lucky if I don’t just close down the tab and find some other less intrusive site.

    Customer contact forms on websites – you need to complain about something and you’re expected to do so in the equivalent of a tweet! No. If I’m bothering to complain it’s because I’m not happy and I need at least the web equivalent of a sheet of A4 (as evidenced by this lengthy diatribe!)

    So what do I like?
    Simplicity. Nothing that makes my eyeballs cower in their sockets in fear of a spectral overload. Nice layout, easily accessed menus, readable fonts. Common sense really! A suitable combination of images and text. And if there has to be a whole heap of words – space it out into readable chunks else readers might miss relevant information.
    And all the important info in one place – like what’s the point of a tab headed ‘contact us’ if the contact info isn’t all there and I have to go searching for it. Delivery pricing – how hard can it be? I don’t want to put everything into the basket in order to find out what the shipping costs are (though it’s excusable for sites where it’s international shipping and weight dependent). If it’s in the UK, the Royal Mail have streamlined pricing to (supposedly) make it easier to calculate postage costs, so it shouldn’t be that difficult.

    And a further irritation – websites that seem unable to keep accurate stock levels! You order something in good faith, complete the checkout etc, only to find that you don’t receive the item … and when you finally get through to lack-of-customer services – someone bought the last one just before you did and it’s out of stock. Really. In this age of technology, you can’t link a stock inventory with the online ordering platform so that when someone buys an item the database reflects that change in status immediately?

    Oops, just realized this has become a rant about online shopping!

    And lastly – websites that aren’t contractually obliged to provide you with the Turtle Beach Wireless headphones which retail at £150 ish and they have on their site for £9.95.
    No, that’s not it … also, sites where if you hover over something, it brings up a menu – but it takes far too long to disappear again so you’re left waiting for it so you can click on the actual part of the page you wanted.
    I’m sure there’s more. Maybe I’ll come back to you (though you might well be hoping I don’t if you’ve managed to read to the end of this rant!)


    1. Yes yes brilliant! I’d never considered the online shopping/customer services fully but you’re right. It’s to stop you complaining I suppose, but ultimately puts people off.

      Ah your example of text speak is great. +1 just for typing it out!


      1. even though this was actually a text – therefore the use of ‘txt spk’ is deemed acceptable it’s a prime example of it’s stupidity ….. “Lol knw wht u mean Gdlck”
        what she meant was Good Luck but the first two words that came to mind were Goldilocks and gridlock!
        The lack of punctuation adds to the lack of comprehension. Had she put “gd lck” (preceded by a full stop) it would’ve made far more sense.


      2. What does one mean?

        About Gridlock:

        “I know what you mean, Gridlock.”

        About Gridlock:

        “I know what you mean… GRIDLOCK!!!”

        (The same applies to Goldielocks.)


  2. I never want to link them! My new laptop has windows 8 and it wants to link EVERYTHING! I’m sure it things it’s being helpful and efficient but it has now linked my Hotmail and Facebook with each other and with my laptop itself. I have so far managed to refuse its constant attempts to link my Skype to all 3 but that’s purely because I haven’t used it, if I want to use it I have to link them. Annoying.

    I can’t stand people who Hashtag all their words! I think the recent increase of people doing this has something to do with Instagram but whatever it is it’s they should stop because it’s irritating and makes me read all disjointedly and not in sentences.

    I hate ‘Text Speak’, it’s stupid and saves people maybe 20 seconds at best. It’s mostly only adults who still do it because they think it’s what people do and haven’t noticed that the majority of the ‘youth of today’ have started writing in full sentences (The ones worth talking to anyway). Actually, that’s not true, people with Blackberry’s don’t seem capable of words but that just illustrates my point. I do not see the appeal of a Blackberry.

    I hate websites with pictures that over lap text. I hate it when they have links that don’t work. I don’t like websites that make noises you can’t stop or that make noises without you asking them too. Like how YouTube starts to play the video as soon as you go on the video, not when you press play. Or even more annoyingly, when you’re on someone’s channel and it plays random videos of theirs that weren’t what you were looking for.

    That was a lot of moaning. Sorry!
    I’m not even sure much of that was anything to do with your post but ah well.



    1. It’s excellent! I knew asking you all to rant and rave was a good idea!

      I think, if this takes off, I might make a Master List and/or Post discussing ideas.

      I’d also never thought about the YouTube thing… You have a point.


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