Websites that suck

by Fred Showker

I was doing some research for a web site critique, and thought I'd look up Vincent Flanders' "Web Sites that Suck" for a few references I can remember from the books. I used Vincent's books in teaching web design back in the 2000s, too bad web design school no longer uses those books ...

So I'm thinking "Where is Vincent when we need him?"

I'm trying to make a point that text on a web page should be readable ... but the designer informs me, rather arrogantly, that their font size is 11 point, and if I had trouble reading that, I should increase my font size. Then she proceeds to give me instructions on which key commands to use. Imagine that.

Hmmmmmmm. She completely missed the point. If she expects the visitor to break their flow and adjust their font size just to read her content it must be mightily important content, or else a huge leap of faith. However, she should probably expect to lose 80% of her readership. That back button, or command/w is just too easy for most web surfers to stick around, much less change their browser settings.

But then, in the same search, THIS web site turned up . . .

handsome web site ... but ...

What's wrong with this picture? Well, at initial arrival, it was actually okay ... but ... what's this??? The content in the latest FoxFire snugs up against the left margin with no padding or margin at all. Then this pink "CONTACT ME" floats down to cover the content. So, reading is disturbed and becomes more of a challenge to position the scroll so the text is not covered. It completely derails the reader and thwarts the author's primary goal, readership.

I lose interest and the eye-flow wanders ... over here it says "I'm a web designer..." I say to myself, "Hmmmm, wonder why you designed the pink contact button to cover your content???" Which is actually saying contact is more important than the content -- or, hey, that little button scrolling thing is just too cool to worry about content.
Game over. Bye-bye.

Where is Vincent when we need him...

You're still reading, right?

Fred Showker

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