Last updated: July 2017
Have you ever been to a website that was just a downright miserable experience to try and use? Maybe it was slow, or hard to understand. This all comes from code bloat, and its negative impact on performance is multiplied when using older hardware.
This is the most widespread issue of all web design. Almost every single website online today has invalid HTML code, which can cause a variety of strange issues, such as slow loading times, missing or corrupted content, or even a "Your browser is incompatible" error.
Normally in computer programming and scripting, you cannot usually make any syntax errors that won't get caught by the compiler or interpreter, and, if they don't, then they're likely to badly harm the affected function(s) of the program or script.
However, in web design, syntax errors have generally been handled less and less strictly as web browsers (d)evolved over time. Why did this happen, did nobody feel like writing their code correctly anymore? Now maybe someone out there knows some valid reason(s) why this was done, but it seems silly to me. Why were errors excusable all of a sudden? Why not have the typical error/warning system of programming languages like C?
Because of errors becoming excusable, almost nobody felt compelled towards abiding the HTML standards, the Internet devolved into the mess that we know
and love today.
Have you ever seen how annoying it is when old versions of Internet Explorer toss errors repeatedly when you try to visit a website? That's what it'd be like if browsers suddenly threw errors about invalid HTML syntax, but this is not a perfect example, for Internet Explorer is not standards-compliant, but this is the best analogy I have.
As if all of these coding standards issues were not enough, some websites out there, even today, push the use of Adobe Trash. It's annoying if you don't have it installed, and, when it is installed, it's a blasted CPU hog. It's also becoming increasingly irrelevant, as HTML5 has been displacing it. Numerous HTML5 demos have been made for the past several years, proving that the "trash" is on its way to the landfill.
Before HTML5, Adobe Trash made more sense, but the sheer truth is that it should have never been mandatory to start with. Therefore, it was flawed from the start.
Unfortunately, even though Adobe Trash is dying, flawed web design isn't, and text web browser users are still being ignored. At least some people, like me, care about them. My website is better for everybody that way, including myself, but short of the few who do care in today's uncaring world, hardly anyone values or provides honest and hard work, and thus, they don't give a rip.
This is one half a user error, and the other half a webpage design error. I will elaborate on each half.
Most often, people maximize their web browser out of habit, for whatever reason. Hey, don't get mad at me, I did the same thing for years. Here's the deal, though: it takes unnecessary screen space for absolutely no good reason, and my website's design illustrates this.
For example, you've probably got the browser window maximized right now. If you do, take a look at all of the blank space to the left and to the right of this text. See all of that horizontal room you've lost? It isn't doing you any good. You could have Task Manager there, another web browser window, a chat window, or even just your desktop there.
The reason why these blank spaces exist is because my website was designed with a maximum width, on purpose. If it wasn't designed with a maximum width, the paragraphs would become more difficult to read, the wider you made the window. There stands a reason why most books are taller than they are wide.
Here's the other half, though: unintelligent web design prompts for a bigger browser size. It goes as I say, "smart people know how to make the best of what they already have", or, in other words, a properly-designed webpage won't have you maximizing your web browser to start with.
Made infamous by VBulletin and Experts-Exchange, and continued by Quora, forced registration is an annoying and overused tactic that just makes your information less accessible to your users, and not even just that, but also annoying them away, from your potential services too. I say "potential" because you aren't doing them a service by telling them to register or buzz off.
Besides, everyone just finds ways to bypass it anyway, so what's even the point? The same goes for software DRM: you're ticking off your legitimate customers, all the while, the pirates still manage to plunder your precious booty.
These stupid little buttons are all over the place. Why can't they simply be picture-links, instead of invalid HTML code snippets? It's a chore trying to fix their invalid code as well, but if you care about valid HTML code, you might not really care for those buttons to begin with, and neither do I. On top of that, though, sometimes companies do not allow you to fix their code for use on your website!
Besides, those networks all tend to be silly, anyway. I simply don't like it. I'm not the kind of person that writes SMS messages while walking, bumping into everyone and everything. "Smart" phones make people stupid.
Once upon a time, menus looked like menus. They typically had no singular, general icon, for menus were typically categorized separately. It was clear what to click. If there was ever one big menu, it'd either look like a blasted menu, or it'd say "Menu".
Fools purchased the latest iPhones and Galaxies (when were galaxies even for sale?), and bickered about which was better.
Rinse, repeat, so on, and so fourth, and all was as relatively normal in the world as this relatively normal world could be relatively normal.
Something was about to disrupt this cycle, though, and it was on this day...the day that a total genius was bored, swimming in twenty-dollar bills, when the total genius suddenly got an idea: menus should no longer look like menus, no. But what were they going to look like?
This total genius paced back in fourth in the room for a while, eventually taking a peek out of the window...and that's when the total genius realized what the menu should look like: it should resemble the three horizontal bars visible on the 4x2-pane glass window. The idea was made, the menu was implemented in Chrome/Android/I-don't-know-what, and, just like the waterfall of generic knockoff products copying a name-brand electronic product, the trend spread like wildfire.
What else? I don't know, that's about the only idea I can come up with for that terrible triple-line icon! Just what were they thinking!? Does it even really look like a menu? I never understood it! "But I understood it from the beginning! You must be stupid!" That's nonsense. Besides, do you really believe that I'm the only one who finds this icon troublesome?
It's not even only the icon that's bad, it's the concept as well. A menu can't be all that hard to fit in a website, just look at mine! It's as soon as you use that icon anywhere on your webpage, if not earlier, you declare "Web design is too hard for me, I give up."
If you seriously are considering the implementation of a "hamburger menu", then you need to rethink your web design. When the browser size is too small, hiding the menu is fine, but don't be silly and have it always hidden.
There's still more to go, and here we've got another extremely common mess-up: "mobile" and "desktop" versions of websites! I call it "two-faced web design". Ooh, ooh! I have an idea! How about...a...get ready for it...FUNCTIONAL version! Wham! I'll bet'cha didn't think of that, web designers! Need a reference? You're lookin' at it! There is no "mobile" and "desktop" version of my website to be found, and yet it works well on mobile devices and computers alike.
"What's the problem with having two versions?", you might ask. What if you're using a "smart"phone, and you want to, say, look at the tracking information for an eBay purchase you made. Well, it's too bad that eBay's "mobile" (more like "gimped") version of the site doesn't show you tracking numbers, leaving you to navigate the "desktop" version of the site, which is tedious on your device!
Some websites also even have size-based two-faced web design (try saying that five times fast), which triggers when the browser's small enough...so, great, you might just wind up making the website look like it's on a "smart"phone on a computer. Sigh. You might as well just make it right from the beginning!
The majority of the Internet gets several things wrong at the very least, so it is neither feasible nor sensible to compile a list of each and every instance. Instead, I will just be including some notable examples: