Irritating websites

What happens when a website thinks that it is the centre of the WWW? Forbes happens. Why does Forbes (or the guys who made this pathetic website) think that people will look @ their slideshows indefinitely? Even before that, when you go to a story on their website it becomes extremely hard to spot the link that shows the actual story. You get a link (say from digg) and then you are presented with a presentation screen. There is a link, buried somewhere, to the actualy slideshow. This is especially true with the Top N stories. The slideshow is just one of the numerous links on the page AND you cannot easily spot it. Someone, at Forbes, please take a printout of the page and try spotting the link. You will understand what it means to search for a needle in a haystack. Even worse is the slideshow itself. Talk a developer and fix this auto play “feature”. Why do you assume that I will actively look at the link once I open it? Ever heard about TABBED browsing? As I write this story, I cannot help but notice how the slideshow happily moves away from one page to the other. I see three buttons and a “speed” bar. Back, Stop, Next. Now is that graphic for Next actually Next or Play? I click on the stop button and I want to move to the next slide, lo and behold the next is actually play since the subsequent slides are automaticaly appearing.

What is so hard about figuring out how to design a slideshow? Did it even occur to the designer that people might not want the website to switch the slides automatically or that they might want to switch slides early and not have to press two buttons to read an article?

Fixes proposed:

Fire the idiot who believed that the automatic slide transition without my asking for it is a good thing. (Provide Prev, Next links in TEXT or change the graphic to ‘<‘ and  ‘>’. Not solid arrows. Keep the Stop button and have a separate “Play/Resume” button.. For once pay attention to the VCR/CD/DVD player’s interface.)

Fire the idiot who said that burying links to the slideshow in the main story is an awesome game to play with the visitors. ( Keep the link to the slideshow at the top of the story, at the bottom of the story and in a different font. Even better, let it be static wrt rest of the story. Thus when people scroll through the text, they WILL notice the lack of motion in this text. Make it stand out from the rest of the text)

Fire the idiot who currently does the usability testing. If you have none, fire the guy who owns this website as a product line and then hire new ones.


By the time I finished this rant, the Global 2000 Forbes Top 25  companies has shifted slideshows to “In Pictures: Stars With A Head for Business”. This thing just gets better and better. I shall never hire the guy who thought that this would be cool. So how am I supposed to go through the slideshow now? I have not read this story and I guess I will not read Forbes stories till they wrap their head around usability and UI design.


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