In the process of semi boycotting the Black Friday insanity by staying the hell home and just chilling after a very charming Thanksgiving feast with one of our communities of Spirit. But that leaves me with a semi-day off (as much as freelancers have days off) to do a little more recreational surfing. Which of course will bring on a yet another reason to be irritated by contemporary practices in web design.
I don’t want to go off on a rant here… wait, yes. Yes, I do. Have you ever idly clicked on one of those obvious clickbait headlines, and just been totally pissed off at where you’ve landed? Uh HUH. Me too. It’ll be something vaguely interesting like the “10 Biggest Movie Flops in 2015” or “25 Things You Didn’t Know About Star Wars.” Now I’m a nerd AND a geek and like movies, so heck, why not?
Then of course comes the crushing disappointment and HELL of these horrid sites…
And you went in anyway, and you knew it was going to suck when you clicked it. It was confirmed when 80 percent of the screen is filled in with ads – stupid ads – before any of the promised interesting content appears. Then whatever content there is, when you finally get there is weak.
So many of them link off that little clump of “Promoted stories” that show up on sites you routinely browse and (kind of) trust, they typically try like hell to look like part of that site, copping their visual look, or mixed into the site’s legitimate content. First off, we all know the whole point of these pages is to deliver eyeballs for the crushing avalanche of ads with a tiny wee clump of actual content that you actually want to see. Typically a single image and a bare paragraph of content and then the inevitable tiny NEXT link that you have to hunt down, lest you click on another add and take yet another trip down a rabbit hole you don’t give a rat’s naked tail about.
I have, on rare occasions, on some sites that slice their legit content into multiple pages seen a very understated “One Page” link. Last time I saw one – on my iPad – it didn’t work. Pffft.
Of course a lot of these sites will also throw up an intrusive pop up, asking for your email for the right to endlessly SPAM you in return for the mostly futile hope of seeing something remotely interesting. On the few occasions I’ve bitten it seems like the SPAM sometimes shows up in my inbox before the page finishes loading. Even the somewhat conservative and venerable Forbes forced me to dig through their “quote of the day” and “Topics that might interest you” before delivering the page. Other sites stall you with an auto-running video ads at terrifying volume. What, you were playing Pandora? iTunes? Spotify? Screw that crap you chose according to your musical preferences. Let me sing you the song of MY people… at terrifying volume.
The utter worst demand that you surrender your email, or location, or both before even allowing you on their sites. I can always tell when my wife hits one of these. The screaming starts. Our typical response – “well I was interested. Now I’m NOT. See ya.”
But hey, if “50 Celebs Who Destroyed Themselves With Plastic Surgery,” is burning a hole in your brain, go there.
Also posted on Medium.