Dear Websites: Please Stop Using Interstitials, Popups, and Fix Your Bad Code

Dear Websites:

I’ve run across a few websites and blogs recently running interstitials (the modern term for “popup windows that overlay not pop) and a variety of scripts and bad code that cause browser errors.

Please stop this.

The reasons are many, but here are a few.

  1. We hate them.
  2. Interstitials require effort on our part to close which is not a good first impression.
  3. Interstitials work on the clueless not influencers, so check your stats to see if these are really turning into conversions or annoyance.
  4. Browser errors popup warnings in our faces, which is ridiculous in this day and age when it is easy to fix all these and prevent them.
  5. Update your site’s code regularly, for our sake but mostly your own, especially for security reasons. It makes us think bad things when your site is so out of date our browser warns us.
  6. If your site is out of date in look, feel, and functionality, what do you think that says about your content, purpose, and business?

Thank you for updating your sites and fixing all errors today.

Lorelle
The Tech Nag

Dear TED, Don’t Force Yourself Upon Us

Dear Ted:

When it comes to changing the world, few do so more than TED videos. Your tag line, ideas worth spreading, is a humble way of describing the power and influence of your presentations by amazing people.

However, when it comes to presenting your videos, please help improve the world by making your videos not play automatically.

I will often cruise through and open several tabs of TED videos in my browser, then life will charge back in and I’ll have to feed the cats, take a phone call, pay bills, and respond to the mundane life a tech nag leads. If perchance I have to close and restart my browser for a million different reasons, I have to plow through fifty or more tabs to find which ones have the TED videos on to stop them from playing. I’ll suddenly have 3 to 7 voices all talking at me and the video downloads will slow down my computer and browser, not to mention my horrible Internet connection.

While I’m not sure it’s a web standard yet, it is should be. Either way, TED, you exist to change the world. Please set an example for all to follow and give us our control back. Allow us to press PLAY to lose ourselves in the wisdom of others and don’t force yourselves upon us.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag

Dear Browsers, Stop the Browser Hacks, Please.

Dear Browsers (and I’m talking to all of you):

I’m reading Paul Irish’s article on the Browser Market Pollution and it makes me ill.

As a web designer and developer, I hate when I have to create a new framework or revisit a current one and deal with browser hacks.

I’ve dealt with browser hacks going back to versions no one on the planet is using any more, even those prior to IE 6. I had hacks for Netscape, IE4, IE5, IE5.5, and so on. I even have hacks for current versions of IE7, IE8, and even IE9.

Oh, you other browsers, Safari, Opera, Firefox, I’ve had hacks for your versions as well, so don’t think you are getting out of this nag.

Irish explains that even as we go forward, the browser industry’s failure to maintain web standards and ridiculous need for proprietary crap that messes with web design, causing even more hacks, will continue and web designers will have to maintain multiple hacks and custom support for multiple browser versions on and on and on into the future.

I’m so tired of coverying your asses with my designs and fixing the designs by others for clients.

When Tim Berners-Lee and his team developed the web as we know it, the goal was to break down the code barriers that stopped the easy exchange of data and information so we could all communicate together. Browser hacks put burdens upon that tenuous web when you all should be reinforcing it with strength.

Please let us stop fixing your problems with browser hacks.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag