Are you kidding? 303 slides on one webpage?

Are you kidding? 303 slides on one webpage?

I’ve complained about the absolute insanity behind the proliferation of slide shows – why use a couple of pages when dozens would do, right? But this one is the epitomy of stupid design.

screen capture of a slideshow that contains 301 slides That’s right 303 slides. No one will stick around for hundreds of slides when they can go over to a site like Is My Show Cancelled and find the same info in mere seconds. Bad designer, bad.

Web Designer Rings of Hell – hopscotching to #8

Web Designer Rings of Hell – hopscotching to #8

Logo - 8th Ring of Design HellI’m going to hopscotch across a couple rings of Designer Hell and pop into ring #8 – click bait websites or as Dante would label them – fraudsters.  You’ve likely landed on one of these dreaded sites and thought “WTF” and tried to zoom away at top speed.  These are pages that are so loaded down with ads and wonky scripts that your browser grinds to a halt or crashes,  leaving you whimpering in some corner screaming “make it stop … make it stop”. Nothing says good web design like leaving your reader in a fetal position.

And all too often the promised content just doesn’t exist. The web designer created a teaser ad loaded with fake images to draw you in.  That’s pretty much a good description of bait and switch. Fraud by any other name is still fraud.

Example of a clickbait ad

Example of a clickbait ad

The above is an obvious click bait because the young man in the photo is alive and well. The unwary click because they wonder if they missed the news and are promptly sucked into a rabbit hole of ads, ads and more ads, accompanied by so many tracking scripts, the reader has no choice but give up in despair and chuck their laptop over the balcony to escape the endless cycle of pop ups, “WAIT DO YOU MEAN TO LEAVE” nags and script errors… it’s exhausting just writing about it.  The few (un)lucky readers who make it through the initial barrage of script errors and ads are left trying to figure out where the content is. It’s usually squeezed into a small piece of real estate surrounded by, you guessed it, more ads.  How about those F8cking ads that slide out and cover up 1/3 of the content and no way to click the ads away?  Now that’s proving the web designer values the content!  So yea, Ring 8 of Web Hell is the virtual host of all click bait websites.

What clickbait site do you relegate to the dustbins of Hell?


Slideshow confusion – another candidate for Web Ring of Hell

Slideshow confusion – another candidate for Web Ring of Hell

The other day I went off on the prevelance of web developers who overload slide shows.  Today, I have a related sin: Example of a slideshow that doesn't match the headline

A couple of issues come to mind:

What is the actual news story? This is a prime case of a jarring headline mismatched with the first slide. Talk about mental whiplash. Why choose a slide of Pamela Anderson to lead the slideshow if the headlines are talking about human remains washing ashore.

Then we move on to the issue of context. Nowhere in that slideshow is there anything that matches the headline. It’s a clickbait setup. No idea how MSN sets up the backend, but something is seriously wrong with it. Surely there is at least one human working there who can read.  It reeks of “Let’s bang together a bunch of random news stories, create some nifty slides and toss them together, then steal a headline from a news source to make it look legit”.

Worse still the headline is embedded over each slide:

Slideshows showing unrelated content

In case you’re wondering, that’s Texas. No date given.

And now the final issue that ticked me off the most – no links. Nope, nothing is connected to the CBC story. It’s a floating headline with no purpose in life. I think I go to the MSN news page solely to tick myself off … and it ever fails.


Web design 101 – how not to market your website

I operae on the assumption that it’s easy to get things wrong so I tend to be (marginally) tolerant when I see goofs on websites. I chuckle, sometimes throw the error up on my site to share, knowing full well that could have been my error.  With web design, it’s so easy to get get something wrong. Once in awhile I see something that leaves me a bit stunned, like this:

web design failure - where's the content

Notice something missing? Yea, content. Where is it?  I figured there had to be something there so I highlighted the page and voilà – there is text, very much invisible:

why black font on a black background fails

This falls under Design 101 – don’t use black text on a black background unless you issue a decoder ring with your webpage.

Failing to ensure your content is visible brings up a second tip – don’t make your audience work to see your content. No one will stick around long enough to figure out highlighting reveals the secret text, nor will they take the site seriously.

This is a case where the design team didn’t check every page when a change was made. I couldn’t be bothered checking it with all browsers – after using 2 different ones, I gave up. Regardless, the site should be visible no matter which browser the customer chooses to use. Black background + black font = unreadable content.

And this is why every page MUST be checked before going live. Half the site is excellent, clear and easy to read; the rest is missing large chunks of vital content.

The great irony is the  site belongs to web design professionals. Web design fail and marketing fail all rolled into one.  Bad designers… bad …. go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done. The website is no longer online.