Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Website Design: Just Because Everybody Else is Doing it - - -

"5 Sickening Habits of Mainstream Websites"
TechCult (November 11, 2008)

Caution: some naughty words and a sophomoric attitude follow. The guy's got a point, though.

"Forbes, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, Mens Health, you name it. The big guys think that just because they entered in the game early, or because they have some popular print publication backing them up, they can get away with whatever they want.

"Screw that!

"They better start changing and listening more to the users, else I am sure their traffic will go down hill. Here are 5 habits from mainstream websites that make me sick.

"1. Breaking stories in many different pages to increase the number of impressions...."

I could do without the 'grown-up' words and college-boy attitude, but the author has five very good points.

Besides the obvious pointers for site designers who don't want to lose visitors and alienate people, there's a bigger lesson: Really big companies doing something doesn't mean it's a good idea. Anybody been following how GM, Ford and Chrysler are doing these days?

I'll admit to a bias here: a majority of the features listed are ones that are on my 'pass' list. I'm a professional writer, and literally can't waste time while a popup ad or splash screen loads (or crashes). The same goes for filling out a registration form to get at (unknown) content.

Unless I know, positively, that there is information of extraordinarily high value behind the cybernetic chaff, I click to the next source on my list.

I may have missed some nifty-keen sites that way, but that's something I can live with.

2 comments:

K Fields said...

I tend to agree with you on this, I have been to some sites, not just blogs that have thier text content broken up into 3 to 8 pages, it gets tiresome waiting for each page to load so I can finish reading the article, not to mention the advertize gimmick page that pops up between them.

My site's main page has where they can click and read on if they want, but only to one page, and no advertize gimmick between them. I was forced to do it this way because of the commmenting system!
Great Post!
~K

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

K Fields,

Thanks for the good words.

The sort of system you describe is far from the worst, in terms of being viewer-friendly.

Me, I chose Blogger because it's very easy to use - and associated with Google. (I like to work with 800-pound gorillas - that's another topic.) Plus, its Turing test is about as easy to use as any I've seen.

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