As seasoned users of the web, we all have had ample time to encounter annoying web trends. Overuse of irritating terms and abbreviations aside, it is the monetisation of popular websites that is proving to have a damaging long-term impact on our collective experience. We are so much more than biological shells with dollar signs hovering above our heads, and it’s about time that key decision makers cut back on the trends below.
1. Tedious slideshows
Easily the most crushing aspect of my web experience is when I see a potentially fascinating article, often accompanied by a title containing numbers, and click on the link to arrive at a slideshow. Nowadays, websites aren’t content to give you just five images to scroll through. They would much rather give you at least 20.
Now, I’m not complaining about the overall quantity of the content. Instead, I’m complaining about the way in which users are forced to access it. Rather than simply being able to scroll down a page and view an article in one sitting, slideshows force you to tediously click through every image. Just pray that you aren’t greeted by an audible video advert with each new click. And that brings us to…
2. Blaring websites
There’s nothing I hate more than loading up a website to feel like I have just walked into a house party. And I’m not naïve enough to believe that the party only started because I walked in – absolutely not. These cringe-inducing adverts blaring through your speakers are making some websites a no-go experience. (I already have a blacklist of media websites I won’t even consider reading an article on.)
Do you really want to spend time on a website where each new page brings a hellish advertising experience? I didn’t think so. All of this is to say that major global brands and their digital marketing partners are no longer concerned with the premise of quality over quantity. However, I’m more frustrated by the greedy websites that let it happen. I mean, I don’t mind the videos so long as they’re muted – is that too much to ask?
3. Huge dropdown adverts
Just a couple of days ago, when I was browsing a renowned video games and entertainment website, I accidentally rolled over a banner advert for the latest Transformers movie (Age of Extinction). First off, I need to point out that my cursor only grazed the edge of said advert, yet still I was subjected to a highly irritating experience – much like everybody who saw Michael Bay’s new Transformers film!
Getting back to the story, the banner advert expanded to take over the entirety of my screen. And the Flash requirement seemed to be so large that the banner succeeded in crashing my browser. I’m just glad I wasn’t filling in a long form at the time or placing an important order. There’s a line between being outright intrusive and a necessary evil – expandable banners never respect the line.
4. Social media popups
Some high-traffic websites are so desperate to increase their Facebook likes or Twitter followers that they will subject you to social media popups every time you pay a visit to their homepage. And some sites will expose you to these popups even if you already follow them on Twitter and have liked their Facebook page.
I see absolutely no problem with displaying social media plugins at the side of the page (heck, you’ll even see a Twitter plugin on my homepage), as this gives users the chance to engage at their leisure. Popups, however, are another web trend we would all be better off without.
5. Continuous scrolling
By now, you’re certain to have visited a website that essentially displays every page on the homepage. Basically, you scroll downwards to access page after page until there is no more content to access. These pages are most common for web designers, digital marketing agencies, and various other service providers (above is an example of impressive continuous scrolling).
However, these continuous scrolling websites are a nightmare when you have more than a few pages to scroll through – pretty much just stick to five or six as a maximum. These websites are also irritating when the design is glitch-ridden and poorly executed. Just leave the continuous scrolling websites to the elite players who know how to get them right.
By Mike Porter