Maybe it’s that time of year and the slow descent into the dark, wet, cold abyss that is the Scottish winter but I’m suddenly feeling all curmudgeonly. Thus what better blog post to write than one about ‘features’ on web sites that really tick me off. Y’know, grind my gears. Yank my crank. Get my goat. Push my buttons. Burn my bacon. Chap my ass… OK, I’ll stop now.
Obtrusive app notifications
Now, I’m not completely immune to the charm of pimping one’s app when browsing the corresponding site on a mobile or tablet. A little notification isn’t a bad thing and there are plenty of folk out there who would rather use an online service via an app than a responsive web site (assuming it offers better features, that is). Still, there’s a fine line between ‘notification’ and ‘constant homepage redirect’. And yes, Google+ I’m looking squarely at you.
Google, bless them, must be darn proud of their Google+ iPad app because they’ve decided that the standard little notification at the top of the screen wasn’t enough for them now. No sir, they need to redirect you to a complete frickin’ full-blown splash page. Every. Single. Time.
And the sad thing is, I still visit the site on my iPad every day (to my even further irritation).
Pagination instead of scrolling
*Thud* as heads slams against desk. Seriously? It’s 2013 and people – and by that I mean rather popular gossip sites – still split up their articles over multiple pages? So instead of loading a single page and reading it in its entirety, you’re forced to load page after page after page of 200 word articles just so you can actually see who the top 20th best dressed male at the Oscars this year was. C’mon…
In a throwback to the ancient and ridiculous notion of keeping everything above the fold, some sites still insist of pagination instead of scrolling and it boggles my mind. The web is designed for scrolling. Mice scroll. Touch screen scroll. I spend half my life rubbing the front of my iPad like a demented DJ and, y’know what, it happens to be work really darn well.
Call me a coldhearted emotionless machine but the sight of two business people in a blatantly obvious staged photo shaking hands togethers does absolutely nothing for me. Neither does the multicultural group shot of suited models looking directly into the camera. Nor the attractive women with a headset and mic on, flashing you a cheeky little smirk (you know the photo I mean).
Although I concede some stocks photography has its benefit and that sourcing the real thing isn’t always possible but, in my opinion (personal and professional), it should be avoided as much as possible. At least the really cliché ones. Use your imagination instead; there are other ways to represent an accountancy firm than images of dollar bills, large safes and contemplative goldfish.
Call me a Darwinist but I think if you’re online banking password is ‘password’ then you probably deserve to be hacked. Joking aside, I take online security very seriously and believe firmly in strong passwords but there comes a time and point when every individual needs to make their own decisions in life. Plus, there’s nothing worse than finding out that one of your standard (and already very secure passwords) doesn’t happen to fit the exact pattern that a new site prescribes. All that happens in that instance is you enter something you immediately forget or – even worse – are forced to write it down on a piece that anyone in the room could take.
So please, please don’t force us into highly ridiculous and traumatic password combinations. Instead, why not just score us on how secure you think our suggested password actually is before we submit it. At least then we’ll be making informed decisions of our own with full knowledge of the consequences - like real grown ups.
Let me put it this way: you know what else people really like? Cake. Cake is delicious and I personally could eat it all day long. But what does gorging yourself on too much cake give you? Diabetes. Too much of a good thing isn’t always, well, a good thing.
So there you have my top five web site bugbears. What are yours?