Blue Parking Space / 20100423.7D.05928.P1 / SMLAs far as a buzzword, web 2.0 has failed. It’s a buzzword that actually has a meaning. It can be defined in three – “User Generated Web”. The web is now not in the hand of the “webmasters”, but instead in the hand of you, and I. Users.

This is a great thing, as it allows those who are not that good at Web Design, yet are brilliant at churning out great content, to get their thoughts and tutorials out there. However, there have been a lot of alarming developments in my eyes that have hampered accessibility and general annoyance of users just like you.

Popups

Popups have come back in horrible, unblockable jQuery form. Nobody seems to mind though, because a) they’re javacript based – and javascript’s cool, and b) they convert stupidly well. 18 months ago, the thought of putting a pop up box on your blog or website would have you laughed at, now it seems like the norm.

Think there has only been one I’ve actually been interested in – the WWE having a nice “Vince McMahon Presumed Dead” jquery popup during an ill-fated storyline a few years back, but your ebook doesn’t grab the attention a burning limosuine does. Until it does, please don’t use popups.

Frames

Back in the early days of the internet, a lot of external links from big sites often were framed, with a top bar on pages with links back to the original site. This was stopped on the advent of the mobile web, and the more search optimized pages. Now they are back, and the main offender is URL shorteners for social media sites.  Ow.ly & Su.pr are two of the worst. Both are unusuable on small screens, and generally add a lot of noise to the pages. If you want to be nice & accessible – go with something like bit.ly. Your readers will thank you for it.

Javascript

Finally, there has been a rise in Javascript usage. It’s been a good thing in my eyes, as jQuery, AJAX and Javascript libraries have made the web more usable (for example, when I now select a form and there’s “username” written in it, and it doesn’t delete when I select it, I just think that’s lazy on the part of the designer). However, whilst it’s made the web more usable for the average user, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the usability of less able users.

Take for example WordPress, there’s loads of nice jQuery addons in the administration, which is nice, however go to it on a mobile phone, and there are a number of huge usability flaws (such as you can’t approve/unapprove comments, for example). Not like you would craft blog posts on it, but it’d nice to be doing some sort of housekeeping. If you are to use Javascipt on your sites, please don’t use it to hide content.

Your Thoughts?

I suppose I don’t really practice what I preach. Run this site through W3 CSS & XHTML Checker & this blog falls down pretty quickly, but it looks okay, and the processes mentioned above should enchance, rather than deny, content.

Do you use any of the above? Justify it in the comments, or remove it from your site.

Creative Commons License photo credit: See-ming Lee ??? SML

 

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