So, I haven’t had a good rant in a while, so here goes. I recently took to the web in search of a new job, and I came across some corporate pages that made me want to chuck my mouse at the screen. I got me thinking that while the speed of computing power doubles every eighteen months, the intelligence of programmers and designers seems to halve.
It is not 1997, so why does anyone think a pop-up ad is a good idea. I’ve blocked the hell out of all ads on my computer, but sometimes when I’m on a tablet or public terminal there they are, like some low-rent porn site, hawking their latest “deal”.
And by the way, no, I don’t want to install your stupid app. First of all, I already have too many apps that I don’t use. They are hogging the limited memory that I have on my devices that I could be using for cat videos. It doesn’t have half the functionality of your website, and you haven’t updated the content in two years. Either that or I already have it and why are you wasting my time? Do a decent job of setting up your website for mobile users instead.
Speaking of wasting time, I do not want to join your club, answer your survey, or try to decipher some cryptic CAPTCHA just for the “privilege” of using your site. Not ever. Presumably you want something from me, even if it’s just my eyeballs looking at your screen for a few seconds. Don’t make me work for it or I will go somewhere else. If you have something I want, and I need to use a credit card to get it, that’s one thing; but if you are just going to send me spam email about next week’s big sale on toilet paper, I literally and legitimately hate you. Don’t make me log in with Twitter or Facebook either, or I will tell you about this fabulous new weight-loss product I’ve found because someone is spreading nasty rumors about you.
I know we just met, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, please enroll me in your two-step verification so the NSA can track my phone.
And then there are the sites that split all of their posts into multiple pages with twenty words on each page for the express purpose of getting an inflated hit count. It’s like you’re trying to read a novel that’s been printed on flash cards. Thanks for sucking up my bandwidth so you can make an extra 1/20th of a cent. Or “news” sites that think that journalism is a stock photo and three lines of text copied from a press release. Or the ones with so many pictures they are still loading thirty seconds later when I’m already halfway through the article. Thanks for pushing the text off the screen while I’m trying to read it. I once saw a site that used a footer menu and an infinite scroll at the same time; whenever you went to click on the menu, it would disappear as more posts loaded. It was like chasing rainbows only without the exercise.
When you’re designing a site everything should be one or two links off of the main page. I shouldn’t have to go on a wild goose chase of menus and links. I dread going to my cable company’s website because it’s like the worst Choose Your Own Adventure book ever written. There are big sprawling graphics with very little text, and the pages are all cross-linked, so when you’re looking for the answer to a particular question you keep coming back to the same pages where there trying to sell you the latest channel package bundle. And that’s another thing. Unless the vast majority of your site’s users are small children, don’t design your site like it’s a picture book.
I recently had the misfortune of applying to one company, who shall remain nameless, that wanted me to apply via their website. Can’t I just email you a résumé with a cover letter? Don’t you have people who went to school and are trained in Human Resources to evaluate and identify the best candidates for the job? No? Okay fine.
First create a profile with us by filling out thirty text boxes with all your vital stats. Okay, done. Now apply for the job and fill out all the same information again because we are too stupid to figure out how to transfer from one system to the other. Upload your résumé. Now go to the next page and copy down all the information that is already on your résumé, because we are too stupid and lazy to print it out and read it. You’re almost there. There’s only one more step. Fill out this one hundred question survey that will ask you lots of personal and possibly illegal questions, and then we will ask them again four times in a slightly different way because we studied Psychology and it has made us into sadistic morons.
I felt like I was joining a cult, not applying for a job. I went to delete the whole application, but it kept coming back with some random error message. In the next few weeks, if you see me wandering the streets in a funny hat spreading The Good Word, now you’ll know why.
Also, just shoot me. I don’t look good in hats.