The Top 4 Things I Hate About Your Web Site

1. The splash page  From the thousands of results Google gave me, I picked your site. I clicked to enter. Then I'm taken to a page, and when it finally finishes loading, the only thing of use to me on that page is a link that says "click to enter." One click to enter isn't enough for you? You need two clicks to make sure I'm serious about getting to your content? What if instead of saying "hello" when I answer my phone, I greet everyone with "Are you sure you meant to call me?" Yeah, the splash page is that stupid.

2. Music  It's 2:08 AM. Like most DJs, I'm a night owl, so I'm awake and browsing the web. It's quiet, and my dog is asleep on my feet (like usual). Suddenly, at a volume I selected earlier in the day while listing to a podcast from 2 rooms away, the song Better Off Alone by Alice DJ is blasting through my speakers. Buster, who had been dreaming about tipping over a giant trash can, is now awake and barking. My children and wife are now awake, and my wife is now questioning her decision to marry me. Music on web sites is a clear case of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

3. Blogging just for the keywords  I see this all the time in my industry with DJs who post "event reports." They typically post unreadable sentences like "As a San Diego DJ, and a San Diego Wedding Professional/wedding expert DJ, it was a pleasure being the disc jockey for hire at Tom and Melissa's San Diego wedding celebration special event in San Diego, California." If you're going to cram keywords on your site to tell Google you are a DJ in San Diego, at least find a clever way to do it, like I just did. San Diego DJ.

4. Flash  I loathe Flash and I wish it would die already. Imagine if every site you visited had a unique and quirky user interface for you to learn before you could get to the actual content. That is the world of Flash. I also find it offensive that an all Flash site breaks the back button. Do you realize the back button is the single most used feature on a computer? Did you really think no one would miss it? I've got to throw some bonus hatred at Flash because it is usually accompanied by music (see above), and/or a splash page (also covered above). If you have an all Flash site, you are obviously a fascist and a communist. Die, Flash. Die. 

Bonus advice  Obviously, this piece was written with an abundance of hyperbole and bombast, but only in good fun. Here's some bonus advice, for what it's worth. People don't like a complicated user interface. When I get to an all flash site, and the whole thing is just an image, it's confusing. Where do I click? Anything that takes figuring out is BAD. I think because of the expressive nature of weddings, wedding vendors feel pressure to make their web sites as artsy as possible. Unfortunately, many people sacrifice usability to accomplish their vision of art. We must learn to strike the balance between practicality and aesthetic appeal. I'll leave you with a book recommendation that has been a great help to me. Get a copy of  Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach To Web Usibility by Steve Krug. It's a very thin book that you should keep handy for reference.

Let me know if you have your own web peeves in the comments below. You don't need to sign up for an account, just click on the "Post a Comment" link below.

Posted on March 13, 2011 .