Flutterby™! : Website design sucks.

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Website design sucks.

2005-05-30 13:07:06.18313+00 by meuon 3 comments

[Rant] It's a user interface thing. I know that basic clean design rules work...(we are trying to reach the masses) and the formula is 'big menu categories across the top' and 'product categories' on the left in a vertical menu. If I put the menu on the right. it will not display on many people's screens (amazing how many people are running 640x480), on the bottom - same problem, weblogs show that they click on the items on the left and never change major categories. Although the sites are extremely functional, they are becoming formulatic enough (Novel Idea and Volley Vault are examples) that they are embarrassingly similiar, boring..

Even Wired has become another templated formulatic website design, because re-educating the users to another "paradigm" of web user interface loses those "sticky eyeballs".

So: Web Design Sucks. At least for effective websites for the masses.

Somewhere in the background I hear Huey Lewis and the News:
I want a new template
One that won't make me bored
One that won't make me crash my browser
Or make me feel three feet thick

I want a new design
One that won't hurt my head
One that won't make my mouse jumpy
Or make my eyes too red


[ related topics: Interactive Drama User Interface Weblogs Coyote Grits Invention and Design Current Events Work, productivity and environment Sports Graphic Design ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-30 14:00:00.738957+00 by: markd

And not just folks running 640x480. I don't dedicate my entire screen to my browser - I have other stuff I want ready access to, like AIM, IRC, my text editor (browsing docs while programming), mail program, calendar, etc. The Big Trend these days are fixed-width sites (like the suckbicycles one). Which are annoying on so many levels. If the browser is too narrow (like mine) you gotta scroll back and forth to read it, or resize the window, read it, and then resize the browser back to a reasonable size. If you have a big screen, you can't get more content on the page by making the window wider. Screens are getting wider faster than they're getting taller, so preventing the user from taking advantage of that real estate can't be a Good Thing.

Related to that is the excuse a designer friend makes in defending the fixed-width layout, "but if someone has a really big screen and a big window the text will be too wide to read". I guess if they can afford that G5 with a 30" cinema display, they can get a servant to resize the window for them.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-30 14:40:34.295724+00 by: meuon

I fight the fixed width thing a lot. I like sizable web pages, They SHOULD size.. but I usually force them to 780wide to fit an 800x600 display which is a very common minimum size. What I deal with from a business perspective (which is why I am ranting here, not on those sites) is that the client is much happier when things don't move around on the page much. It confuses them.

You can't underestimate the intelligence of the person on the other end of the web browser.

Mike's Law: "If you put a form on a web page, someone will fill it out"

So far, from ads on Overture (Yahoo), I have had several people fill out: SignUp! on CybrMall with NO idea what they were signing up for. Sigh..

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-30 18:20:45.981537+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Don't underestimate boring. There's nothing more aggravating than trying to deal with a website in a hurry and discovering it has a "novel" layout. Predictability is good for efficiency.