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Why do so-called designers think that large areas of blank, white space is a good thing?
Is this a plot by huge, High Definition screen vendors to drive sales? In the good old days the key thing about displaying information on a screen was to provide such information in a compact, readable form with interface fields glaringly obvious (such as text entry,buttons, etc.).
Now it's all about using invisible scrollbars (once you guess where they are and hover over that area long enough) to plough through huge acreages of blank space just to read more than a couple of lines at a time.
In addition, the text is squeezed between huge stock photos that are barely relevant and jump, scroll or wobble around the screen like that old April Fool's code that made dialog box buttons dodge your mouse when you tried to click on them.
..and half the time buttons are just some text you have to know to click upon.
Example: The other day I went to UPS/FedEx/whoever to track a parcel. There was some huge text somewhere in the middle of a large blank area that said "Tracking #" (note the "#" instead of "number", despite the huge surround white space available).
So I tried typing the tracking number - didn't work, I needed to click on the entry field to get focus.
Where is the entry field?
I clicked on the text, nothing happened;
I clicked on the blank area immediately to the right of the text, nothing happened;
I clicked on the blank area immediately below the text, nothing happened... hmmm.
I clicked randomly in various places around the screen and then tried typing, nothing...
...until finally I found that if I clicked below the text about an inch (or a couple of centimeters) below the text and started typing, the number finally appeared! Yay!
There was no flashing cursor, no text entry border or shadowed area, no different shade of grey or colour to give a clue where to type; you just had to click randomly until you found the area that responded. Hovering around to see the cursor change to a text entry cursor didn't work anymore - there was no cursor at all during text entry, the mouse pointer didn't change or even move to follow the entered text. What numpty thought that was a good user interface (sorry, User eXperience)? I'm surprised I didn't have to scroll down to find it! Actually, I would have had to if I was on a smaller screen or not running full-screen.
To sum up: Grrrrr!
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
There was no flashing cursor, no text entry border or shadowed area, no different shade of grey or colour to give a clue where to type; you just had to click randomly until you found the area that responded
I know it's not a solution to the moronically bad design you rightly complain about, but most pre-made "You. too can build a website for your company, with no training!" templates do automatically assign tab-order values, so you might be able to click on the field label and hit the Tab key, to position the cursor.
I wanna be a eunuchs developer! Pass me a bread knife!
There is nothing like "let's just quickly do something before starting the next big task" and then half an hour later be so annoyed with what was supposed to be a simple task on a simple web page that you can't even concentrate on your actual work anymore.
I used to be able to position the mouse on the down arrow button at the bottom of a scrollbar and leave it there, so as I'm reading text, I can just keep hitting the mouse button to bring up the next couple of lines and keep reading.
But since the scrollbars (and the button) now disappear, clicks register against the canvas, and not on the scrollbar, which is no longer there, so the click events do nothing. So, I have to move the mouse around to bring back the scrollbar, then reposition the cursor on top of the down button, then click it. Then a second later the button disappears again, so I have to repeat every time I want to scroll. Using the cursor keys isn't always an option, as you can have multiple levels of windows each with their own scrollbar, so the cursor down event might be going to the wrong target. Positioning the mouse on the button removes that uncertainty.
When I see sites like that I like to inspect the code and more often than not I discover something that leads me to believe (with a high degree of confidence) that the site was written in Ruby on Rails. Or maybe Django. Not that I haven't seen horrid sites written in Microsoft tech, one only needs to look at Microsoft's own site and Office365 online.
It's a free-for-all out there, and the web development community is in free-fall.
and the web development community is in free-fall.
Marc Clifton wrote:
and the web development community is in free-fallfail.
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
It's a free-for-all out there, and the web development community is in free-fall
Years ago I was basically being moved away from a traditional desktop client/server app developer role into a web dev role. Then a few months ago I told my boss I had to go back to something I'm more familiar with because--I told him bluntly--as a software developer, that's not what I had signed up for. Portfolio diversity be damned. It had come to a point where I dreaded getting up in the morning. It's not that I couldn't hack it, I just hated every aspect of it.
If I can make it to retirement without ever having to do web development...I'll be happy. If I can't - I honestly would consider an early retirement. I just can't find the motivation for that crap.
If there's one thing I won't be doing with my "spare time" once retired...it's web development. Unless it becomes a whole different ball of wax by then. However, based on its 20+ year history, I don't see it happening.
I'm all in favour of ham-fisted, messy, badly-designed pages for people's personal sites (if a guy wants to have his say about something or just be a part of the Internet, he shouldn't have to study for three years to do so), but the slightest sign of unprofessionalism in site design for a company makes me not want to risk doing business with that company.
For me, not being willing or able to do a job well means not being willing or able to do a job well.
I wanna be a eunuchs developer! Pass me a bread knife!