Things I hate on a web page

(This is one of my article from Tekaboo)

I’m a die-hard web surfer. Internet takes me at least 7-8 hours a day. I read almost everything web: tech and non-tech news, wiki, Google, mythology, game reviews, forum discussion, manga, even pr0n sexy content. After years of web surfing, I’ve come up with a list of things that I really, really HATE to see on a web page. I would almost close the page right away or never come back again if the site I attempt to visit:

1. Disables right clicking and/or text selecting

These are certainly on top of the most stupid Javascript techniques have been “invented”. It’s still a mystery to me why should one need to prevent right clicking on his site, and how effective such a method can be. Right, if you don’t want your precious text and pictures to be copied (read: shared), why bother posting them up? Just keep them to yourself, Mr Ego. Don’t you know that Javascript can be disabled in every browser? Lame.

2. Underlines those non-link texts

Yes, you may call me a picky old man, but believe me, it sucks to click on that underlined text and realize that it’s not a hyperlink at all. It’s almost a standard to reserve underlining for links, and this move against standards is not acceptable (at least, by me).

3. Opens links in a new tab

Or worse, in a new window - yes, even in tabbed browsers. Whenever I click on a link and it pops up a new tab, I go “WTF?” Hey, haven’t I no choice? If I want another tab, I can hold down my Control key and click (or simply middle-click, depending on the mood). There’s no point in trying to act smart reading my mind! And what is it for, that new non-resizable window? Thanks, but no thanks.

4. Plays the clock

More than often I see this text on the web pages: “The time is now 3:26:43PM, Tuesday, October, 07, 2008″. And it’s flickering with each tick. Heck, don’t they have some better news to show? I have a watch on my left wrist, a big rounded clock hanging on the wall before my eyes, another on the bottom-right corner of my desktop, yet another on my iPhone’s waiting screen. Do I need another clock? If you don’t have anything interesting to show off, just leave that space blank please.

5. Plays sound on background

This usually happens with teenagers’ blogs, and is one of the main reason I rarely visit them. Okay, totally agreed, that song is sweet and it fits your (mournful) mood. But goddammit, it’s 1:27AM here, you know? How cool is it to hear someone groaning at midnight? And where, for God’s sake, where is the Stop button?!? Help!

6. Has banner ads that won’t stay put

Many (or all) sites have banner ads, as they are the main income. It’s totally understandable. I don’t hate ads, really, and don’t use Adblock Plus’ “Adblock images…” feature very often. But there is one exception: those fancy sliding banners. Holy cow. I scroll down - they go down, I scroll up - they follow up. And flickering. And flashing, boom boom. Why don’t you let go of me? Leave me be!

7. Has marquees running across my screen

Similar are the marquees, the shameful ruins from 90s that you may still encounter on some sites about financial, forex, and (especially) weather. Thanks for the forecasting, wow, it’s cool, tomorrow is going to be hot in Ho Chi Minh city, 32 degrees in the morning, and raised up to 3… hey, don’t run away! STOP!

8. Only displays content on hovering

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen them: those sites that won’t display content upon loading. Only until you hover the mouse over the link, poop, a small div pops out with some text contained. Is it annoying? Yyyes! Hola webmaster Sir, I visit your site for the content, so would you mind showing it out from the beginning?

9. Has its content being nothing but a BIG Flash file

Sure, Flash is still one of the best innovations ever seen in internet. And seems like people are overusing it a bit… or two. Despite of all those rocking animations, I still miss my browser’s context menu… and the ability to select and copy texts… and the back button… and the read-while-loading content… and my iPhone’s browser… If your site is nothing but Flash, please make sure that an alternative HTML version is there, or you will lose 2 visitors: me (who?) and Google (WHO???).

10. Doesn’t provide an RSS feed

There were times when I happened to visit a site whose owner was a humorous guy and contents were very interesting, something like a how-to-squeeze-milk-from-a-bull article or so. Naturally I wanted to be kept informed about his next how-to’s, so I took a look at the top-right corner for that orange icon. It wasn’t there. “Of course, he may want to put it at the bottom” I thought. But again I was wrong. The RSS link was nowhere to be found. It simply means that the cool site didn’t provide any feed. It pissed me up. Is implementing a feed that hard? Isn’t it just an XML file which any XML writer out there can do? Bye.

11. Doesn’t offer a search box

As far as I get, searching has become the top-most action of web users, who use Google about 2 billion times a day. So unless you want to keep your site a mysterious castle looking, please give me a search box. If it’s a feature that’s out of your ability, you can always leave it to Google.

12. Opens my Outlook composing window when I click on that “Contact Us” link

Today, internet business is real (take a look at Google!), and real business means real customers. Guess I don’t have to stress how important customer relationship is. So it shocks me everytime I click on a “Contact Us” link just to see an Outlook’s New Message window pop up. Shame on you, how lazy you are, the site owners! Will it take you millions or years to add a real contact form?

13. Goes back to home page when I switch language

I’m always happy to see a page with multilingual support (one of the best is definitely Wikipedia). It beats me however, if the language switcher brings me back home. No, I don’t want to find my way through the chaos to that great post again, I want the page to stay the same, with only the language changed to my needs!

14. Makes me install additional software(s)

Just like everyone else (well, may not be including you), I’m a lazy web visitor that wants everything to be already prepared. “Silverlight is required before viewing this content”? Fine, I quit. “To play this media you need Quick Time installed”? Nevermind, goodbye. “Please update your Real Media plugin in order to hear the song”? No, I hate to restart my machine.

15. Has a domain name

How many times have you heard of a domain name, following Or that “er-without-e” trying to be Flickr? For the first time, it sounds brilliant. For the second time, not very creative but still OK. From the third time on, it’s lame. Really lame. I can’t expect a site to have interesting contents when its name is just a parrot. is an exception, but still jQuery is my winner.

16. Makes me “wait while redirecting”

“Welcome back! Please wait while we’re redirecting you.” is a common message that can be seen in almost every forum. The question is, why must I wait? Why don’t you take me directly to the page I want? I know, there’s always a direct link, but what’s the purpose behind that waiting time? More than once, I view the source code of the page (HTML and PHP alike) but it shows me no light - there’s absolutely no running process in the background that can give that “Please wait” message any sense. So, I decided that it’s just an old nonsense habit that needs to be buried for good.

17. And some more

I also dislike sites that have a “designed by ThisVeryProudCompany” bottom line, or pop up a Javascript message box (alert!) instead of HTML messages, or have CAPCHA’s all over the place etc. Call me picky then, but it’s hard to change someone’s mind…

  • I have to agree with you on quite a few of these.

    Personally, I prefer to see Outllook open rather than a form that goes nowehere. I like to know my email is actually being sent. people still associate forms submission with File 13.  They associate email with it actually going somewhere :>)

    That being said, it’s a contact form on my site :>)

  • 3. I disagree with you, if it includes external links. Opening external links in a new tab/window (I’m not talking about annoying popup windows…) it’s useful, because if user open a link in the same window, and that he/she thinks the new website is boring, he/she closes and can forget from reading your article.

    In other way, is the website opens in a new window/tab, it could be boring, but for sure she/he will return to your article, and maybe continue reading it. Sometimes it happens to me.

  • I disagree with you on #17. As a web developer, I put “Designed by …” on the bottom of my clients’ websites.

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