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The other day I came across this video on web design mistakes in 2021 by Jakob Neilsen of the Neilsen Norman Group. This is an update on their previous top mistakes, which are:
I plan on looking through these lists to see what’s changed since it stretches all the way back to 1996. For now though, let’s see what the mistakes are now.
He claims that it’s because of three things: stupid, evil and lazy.
The later two fall under mistakes, though going through the list, some of the “mistakes” can be classified as evil.
To be included in the list, issues have to be harmful and prevalent. Now for the items and my thoughts on them.
<canvas>. If disabling copy-paste is to prevent piracy, lol.
In all, I mostly agree with this list. Given the insistence on developing sites in a particular way, developers overlook what the browser3 does resulting in most of these issues like slow response times and layout shift. The only thing I’d add is autoplay because most news sites insist on it. It’s so bad that I have to DNS block the video hosts just to prevent autoplay. Then again, this probably falls under evil.
The most inciteful part is the final comment trying to explain why these mistakes happen (paraphrased).
I think that’s one thing that kind of explains why we have all these design mistakes is arrogance.
Arroganceon the side of the website, saying “I am important. I, the website am important. You, the users, the paying customers, are just scum. You don’t matter. You know, you’re unimportant. You’re gonna take it the way we wanna do it.”
And that arrogance really undermines or lowers the pleasantness, the usability and the value actually of the web.
Honestly, I agree with this. Modern web development can really fall into the trap of prioritizing developer experience so much even when it comes to the detrement of user experience. Yeah, this site takes a minute to load, but this framework has everything and the kitchen sink which we need so that
I can give a cool tech talk spice up my resume my startup survives.
He then sites this short poem:
His interpretation is that:
One thing I’m optimistic about is that framework developers understand the UX issues and are working to address them.
As I said, I plan on looking at the lists of the previous years and commenting on them. While many things have been fixed, some issues from 30 years ago are still there. Stay tuned to read about that.
I was working on a project and I had to disable text selection for a better user experience. IT was fine since there was no text to select in that particular element anyway. More on that in the future. ↩︎
Unrelated but you know how some video games make you slide a slider until it’s barely visible. Yeah, I adjust it until it’s completley visible. I get they have a look in mid, but I can’t see shit if I listen to them. ↩︎
It’s hard to explain, but one thing browsers do well is streaming where you can view somethings before all the data is loaded rather than waiting for all of it to arrive. HTTP 203 covers this in their video on SPAs [25:41]. ↩︎