Pet peeves about the Web

(and some suggested remedies)

Right, that's it! I've just looked at one badly-designed web site too many. I mean, I know mine isn't brilliant but at least I'm not deliberately trying to ruin it.

The following is a list of things that really piss me off while I'm surfing. If you do any of the following on your own site, be assured that you will be among the first against the wall when the net.revolution comes.

  1. JavaScript: Arrgh!! Kill, kill! Aforementioned badly-designed site had this on its front page when I pulled it up:
      If this page is blank, your javascript is turned off. You may either turn it on and reload the page or click here to goto our non-javascript version of our site.

    BUT, oh tiny-tiny minds, I turned JavaScript off because it crashes my browser regularly, because it has nothing to do with Java (it's even worse for a start, which is saying something) and because I've never seen anything good in JavaScript. And anyway, not all browsers have JavaScript! Bozos.

  2. Changing fonts and/or colours (badly): Why not add a note saying, "These pages best viewed with Netscape, a 40" monitor and fucking infra-red vision!!"
  3. Changing hyperlink colours: UI 101 - Consistency. That means you, Wired!
  4. Extra pop-up windows: Bloody JScript again! Treble irritation when they only contain adverts - stand up and be counted, Geocities ... aim ... FIRE!
  5. Images with no ALT text/Images containing text: I don't want to view your rotten graphics. Why would I want your graphics? They're crud. They take hours to download because your web server is so busy serving megs and megs of JPEGs. Half of them are banner ads anyway. Give us some hyperTEXT instead.
  6. "Shortcut" menus: ...With no "GO" button and no alternative navigation methods. Fine, I'll just go browse someone else's site instead.
  7. Frames: I have enough windows on my desktop without you adding more. Frames often have nifty scroll bars. They need these because they usually end up as teeny-weeny boxes that can just about fit an eighth of one of your crappy icons in. Try bookmarking a frame or emailing its URL to someone...such as the author, along with a note saying, "You suck."
  8. "Click here": Hello? I might be using Lynx. Why not change this to "Punch me".
  9. Registration forms: ...Otherwise known as "Click here to receive free SPAM and a password you won't bother to remember". Fastest way to improve performance of your server, by stopping all traffic to it.
  10. Intro pages: "Click here if you can be ARSED to proceed past this pointless, huge graphic." Mansun - great band, once you get past their picture.
  11. Links that bring up new browser windows: Uh hey, would you also like to change my colours and reconfigure my mailer while you're fucking around with my desktop??! Ultimate Band List? Arse.

7th October 1998

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