Web Design Notes

Web Design Notes

Maybe this is more like a listing for proper website etiquette, or, I could file this under me being a cranky old man.

“Know what pisses me off?”

I was reading a thoroughly fascinating article about Jack-in-the-Box tacos. “Greasy, fried cat food,” with a piece of American cheese laid across the top. Probably not even real cheese, but a cheese-like substance. I don’t care. Until I landed in San Antonio, that “Jack-in-the-Box taco at 2 AM” would be my default, go-to for “tacos.” Not good, in fact, equal parts repulsive and addictive, horrible and delicious.

Hits that sweet spot between “Why am I eating this?” And? “It tastes so good!”

My original scan of the article came from a news feed, probably, Apple News, and best guess, on the phone. However, after I made note of the URL, and made an effort to see the article on a website, I was locked out, either sign-up, sign-in, and subscribe, or all I got was the headline teaser, something about “Jack-in-the-Box sells 1,000 tacos every minute.”

It’s easy to trace my obsession with the mystery substance, soggy, greasy envelope containing a meat-like substance: misspent youth. No problem. High-school. Best food in the world, at 2 AM, to help ameliorate the effects of, of, of “substances.”

So I hate that I could read the article in Apple News, but not online, in a web browser where I could build a link to the content that I found marginally fascinating.

Basic web etiquette, right?

Web Design Notes

The other one? Perhaps more pernicious?

The Pop-Up.

While I still — occasionally — link to places that have pop-ups, I tend to see that as a desperate plea for help.

”If you don’t get help at charter, please get help.”

Not sure the reference carries, but I see it as much the same. I do have a weekly mailing list.

Very little, if any at all, advertising in the weekly missive. Often times uncorrected, too. Not an issue.

The list — subscriptions — are double opt-in, and require activation by the recipient. Then, there is no, none, zero pop-up ads begging one to join. I did run it across the top of the site for a spell, but that wasn’t a big deal, just a minor reminder, not a box that a browser has to close.

The funniest one, to me, was a “big name author” and his pop-up suggested that “X number of folks are on this list! Join now!”

If the numbers don’t lie, then why hasn’t his number of followers changed in the last half-dozen years? Anyway, the pop-up ad begging someone to sign up is sure sign that I won’t be signing up. Strikes me as a desperation — trying to wring dollars from unwitting participants.

Perhaps this more like trying to start a conversation where I don’t want to have a conversation.

The pop-up is the surest sign that there is an air of desperation about the content on the site. Something the author suggests. Like when a weird person walks up and just starts talking — apparently for no reason.

Web Design Notes

Granted, I do run “pay-per-view” site, but it’s voluntary and optional. No pop-up, no pop-under, just a subtle pay-wall, but then, there’s tons of stuff on the site for free, too.

The various weblogs are free, as is the image gallery, the ubiquitous side project, www.BexarCountyLine.com.

Insight, wisdom, advance warnings, literate, and unwashed?

No, what was grinding my gears is content that appears free, but isn’t. I haven’t — in over a dozen years — made any pretext otherwise.

I also have no pop-up ads.

But they work.

What a pop-up ad does is annoy me. It works at annoying me.

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