Jeanne's World
   The Shoebox

Bad Web Designer, No Cookie:

an irregularly-published column dedicated to mercilessly whomping bad design trends on the World Wide Web

This Issue:
Socially-Responsible Use of PICS Ratings Found

The explosion in web publishing during the last few years has become a cliche of journalism. So has the growing use of tricks from the graphic designer's handbook to dress up commercial sites. It's pointed out less often that this explosion has been accompanied by the rise of hideously bad design. 800-pixel-wide tables. Graphics that take minutes to download. Graphics with no alt text. Swaths of text presented in nearly-unreadable-on-screen 12-point Helvetica. Multi-scrolling frames. Unscrollable frames with hardcoded widths, forsooth. Pages with background music, a wonderful interruption when you're already listening to a CD. The list goes on.

Fortunately, the Web lets everyone publish. Unfortunately, they mostly don't do it very well. I hope in some small way to alleviate that. Or at least to vent enough steam that I'll feel better the next time I have to deal with some hideous abortion of a web page.

Past Issues:

Why You Shouldn't Hire an Ad Agency to Design Your Web Site (July 1998)
In these latter days of the Big Web Business Push, a lot of companies entrust the design and construction of their sites to an advertising agency. Big mistake.
Seven Venial Sins of Professional Web Designers (May 1998)
The theological term "venial" means "forgivable", and these practices can be forgiven by browsers (and by visitors)...but the road to web design sainthood is not paved with sins against accessibility, even little ones.
Seven Mortal Sins of Professional Web Designers (March 1998)
Everyone who writes about the Web - or, as in my case, rants about it - eventually puts out a list of pet peeves. This is mine.
Imminent Death of the Web Predicted (October 1997)
Slowly but surely, the web is giving up most of its potential, as pages lose the flexibility to be viewed with anything but Mosaic-based browsers running on a recent-model PC.
Horizontal Scrolling Must Die! (September 1997)
This issue, we take up arms against that bane of the Web, pages consisting in their entirety of a hard-coded-width table - though regrettably without any hope of, by opposing, ending them.

Jeanne A. E. DeVoto
Copyright © 1997-98 Jeanne A. E. DeVoto