Irritating websites

Each day I do battle with a number of websites, often designed by huge teams of competent people who have sadly produced websites that upset me, even slightly. All of these irritants directly affected the design of the templates for Blot.

When the layout changes as the page loads

I dislike when the layout of the page shifts around as it loads, especially when the page takes a long time to load. It upsets me when I try to click on a link, only for the page layout to shift under your finger as an image off the screen finally makes its way down the pipes. Common remedies to your website’s shifting layout:

  • specify the width and height of images in your site’s HTML markup, meaning the browser has to adjust the layout of the page as it determines the dimensions of the loaded image. The solution is to work out the width and height of images on the server, and deliver the HTML to the browser with this information. You can use a different strategy for responsive images to achieve the same result: as the image loads, the layout remains the same.
  • block out the space required by content loaded after your page has been rendered. You can almost always determine in advance the aspect ratio of advertising inserts or embedded media.

When the text is hard to read

I firmly believe that when you design a webpage, you should start with a paragraph of text and work outwards. There are a number of errors that are easily avoided if you just start with a single paragraph: select an appropriate typeface, then work out according to your own eye the measure and leading that suits the combination of text and the typeface.

When the page is obscured

My screen is small enough as it is, I do not want it further reduced by sticky headers and footers, by forms cajoling me into signing up for a newsletter. None of these improve the reading experience and only irritate me.

When the page takes a long time to load

I dislike when the page takes a long time to load.

When there is advertising

It is ugly and cheapening.


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Last updated 8 days ago. Established in the summer of 2013.