Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Web Design's Worst Practices

I've always wanted to make a list of worst practices in web user interface. No, I am not talking about use the marquee tag, thats a relatively minor offense in my book. Most of the worst practices that concern me are ones that interfere with a given user's browsing habits. Obviously you can't accommodate every last human when it comes to how they interact, but a few practices are both common and reprehensible.

Most of these involve javascript alerts that interrupt normal browsing habbits, and the one I would like to point out today is any javascript alert that prevents right click on links. I find this maddening as I frequently use right click to open links for later reading. Authors usually suppose this will help them prevent content-stealing, but the fact is, it won't. Not probably won't, just plain old won't. If people want it, they're going to get it, and there is nothing you can do to stop them short of not putting up content in the first place.

So, you are not deterring downloading and you are degrading user experience. So don't use it. Thats my rant.

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