Six things that suck about the Web in 2006

With 2006 coming to an end I wanted to post a little rant about some of the trends that I find really annoying about the Web this year. All in my personal opinion, of course, and with a healthy dose of exaggeration (meaning that you shouldn't take every word literally - really, don't). You have been warned.

  1. Overuse of JavaScript frameworks/libraries. Back to the 90's, baby, except they were called DHTML libraries that time around. What is it with people learning a JavaScript library instead of learning to write JavaScript? It's like learning Frontpage instead of HTML. Yes, script libraries can be great. But not when people use them because they can instead of because they should.
  2. Ajax. People seem to use Ajax for everything, accessibility and best practices be damned. Don't get me wrong, Ajax can definitely be used well, but just like with Flash it is more common to see it used in the wrong place at the wrong time by people who don't know what they're doing or why.
  3. High contrast, light-on-dark designs. Argh, my eyes! I explained my feelings about this in Light text on dark background vs. readability.
  4. Headings that aren't real text. They look good if done well. They let visually oriented designers choose any font they want. But from the user's point of view they suck when you want to print, increase text size, or copy and paste text.
  5. Accessibility extremists and design zealots. By acting like fundamentalists unwilling to compromise, these people are contributing to making the Web less accessible and less usable. Accessibility extremists tend to do it by insulting proponents of universality and equal access, design zealots by disregarding usability, accessibility, and common sense in the name of "creativity". Grow up, both of you.
  6. Over-wide, fixed width layouts. Go wide if you must. Use a fixed width if you don't know how to make a flexible layout. But don't do both. Horizontal scrolling, no thanks.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it. (Asbestos suit on.)

Posted on December 20, 2006 in Accessibility, Usability, JavaScript, Web Standards