03/05/14 452 W - + 5 - 3 Wishing on a Web Site

Everybody has a new site these days. New design. New look. New feel. Except this one, of course. Sorry Charlie, no platform upgrades planned for the blog or other Legeros sites. [Insert Bronx cheer.] Why are so many sites getting facelifts and functional enhancements? Blame your phone and its bigger brother, the tablet.

In days of old, when knights were bold, and the smart phones were not ubiquitous, browsing the web on a phone or table kinda sorta sucked. Then came "mobile sites," which were special, second versions. These were simpler versions, usually stripped to a minimum or near absence of graphics and other bells and whistle.

Creating and maintaining two sites--one for desktop, one for mobile--was an obvious pain. And as "alternate devices" grew in variety, availability, and popularity, this approach simply wasn't scale-able.  Tow or three or four (or more) versions of a site. Enter "mobile responsive" AKA "adaptive."

Now, a single web site has the necessary magic to render on a desktop or a laptop or a tablet or a phone or an Etch-a-Sketch. One site to rule them all. Glorious for content publishers, but a pain for the user. At least, for this cranky user. (Haven't had dinner yet, maybe it's low blood sugar.)

Looking across the various web sites that I visit daily or weekly, I'm seeing a lot of nice, full, airy, and space-filled (usually) sites. Lots of content, maybe as much as ever. Lots of pictures and labeled pictures and animated slideshows. Lots of thumbnail graphics. Lots of widgets. Little bits of this and that take extra seconds to load, or longer on a slower device or connection.

These redesigned home pages look good, look fresh, but... they're just so busy. My eye just doesn't know where to start. Can't you show me a simple list of links, or headlines, or "top content." Do you have present so many categories or buckets and all at once? (And Lord help me, so much still below the fold. And even on mobile phones, requiring scrolling and scrolling and scrolling!)

Then I think about Drudge. And Craiglist. And Google. Such simplicity in presentation, and absolutely unchanged after years (or decades). Then I think about Twitter.

Twitter rocks. It's so ingenious, and so simple. Just... lists of text messages, with wee icons. Just... lists of headlines (and some single photos), if you follow the feeds of content providers. Nothing more, nothing less.

Why can't everything be as simply presented as Twitter? Why can't the web be more like text. Why can't the new web... be more like the old web?


I’m not necessarily a fan of some of the new site designs. One that comes to mind is Statter’s website. I felt like it was easier to view the content on his old format.
Mike Bishop - 03/06/14 - 20:15

The new Statter911 site is cumbersome. Looks like more folks are using the “WordPress” formats nowadays.
A.C. Rich - 03/06/14 - 22:12

Remember personal info?

/ Textile

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