I hate this trend in web design: banners over the top of the page

This is the second installment of my epic 7-part trilogy on web design that began with the thread “Load more comments”.

There’s a trend in web design I’m seeing all over the place now and it’s bugging the hell out of me: banners over the top of a web page. No, I don’t mean above the rest of the page. I mean over the top of it, obscuring it from view. I’ll be reading an article, or a discussion thread, and there’s a banner at the top of the page. As I scroll through the body of the page, the text disappears beneath this banner. “Page down” does not work; it moves the view down by a the distance corresponding to the part of the page that you would be able to see if the banner was not there. This leaves part of the new page obscured.

Now, instead of simply using the space bar, “page down” or clicking the scroll bar in order to move downward, you have to hit Page Down and then scroll back up a bit in order to make the obscured portion visible. Moving through web pages, which used to take just one key, is now a laborious process of page down, scroll back up bit, repeat, until you come to the pseudo-bottom-of-the-page and have to click “Load more” as noted in my earlier thread because nobody will let a whole damn web page load anymore.

What are they going to do next in order to further break the functionality of webpages? Who comes up with this shit? Is someone paid a bunch of money by some software company, think tank or standards body to come up the new ideas on how to fuck things up?

I wholeheartedly agree on both the banner and the Load More thing.

Can I add a webpage trend hate?

I detest the video header. Not embedded videos with sound and autoplay (though I hate those too), but the video clips of The Company being Super Awesome At Its Job And Everybody Loves Us! playing under the lettering of the heading.

Not everything has to have motion, folks. I’m ok with a striking static image or, (heaven forfend) Just well used words.


I first noticed the banner thing on Apple’s news aggregator. I thought it was kind of cool, for about a day and a half.

[curmudgeon]The internet is officially broken. It (usually) works well to effectively deliver paid for services like retail and broadcast media. Everything else has turned into one giant cesspool of people crawling over each other to suck a few pennies from web users who wander by. Design is almost 100% driven by marketing decisions, and it has turned the web into a less useful and less interesting place.[/curmudgeon]

[curmudgeon] Damn right, Sparky! [/curmudgeon]

Anyone here in corporate marketing? Or any CEOs? Would emails to the company saying “I won’t be using any more of your product/service until you stop cutting the usability of your web page in half, due to banners, slide-ins, and slide-ups that cannot be closed, and whatever you’re rolling out next*.”

I tell you, if we’d gotten one email like that, we would’ve taken it seriously. And I’m surprised this is gaining traction, in this day of “UX! UI! Let’s be a leader in making things perfect for our audience! And crush our competition, by giving our customers what they’re looking for when they come to our site! UX! UI!”
*Maybe a translucent banner at the bottom with happy people?: “Coming up next on the CW!”

I hate the iPhonification of the web. Instead of useful menus and navigation controls, web sites more and more often plop down images in a grid array, apparently spaced just right for cellphone users to swipe to the next one. Can’t find shit, can’t get an overview-sense of what the damn page is about. Hate it, hate it.

Even worse, it’s the iPADization of the web. Those big squares* may work on a full-size iPad, but are too big for a phone and too limiting on a PC.

*(If it’s 2016, those squares are flat colors --usually pumpkin and seafoam-- or are photos full of happy hipsters at a brew pub… even if your company sells insurance)

As far as iPhone/iPadization goes, my pet peeve is all of the web sites that turn off your pinch to zoom.
Why does Apple allow that? I want to be able to pinch-zoom everything, so I can read the ant-sized font they chose to use.

Perhaps it’s so they can force me to see their ads along the edge, but it’s annoying. Let me pinch-zoom.

So is it going to take 14 years to post all 7 parts?

I concur. There’s a website I go to that has one of these headers AND a similar footer. If you are using a laptop, there is maybe a 2-inch strip where you can see content.

The other thing I hate is the “mystery meat” navigation where you can’t see clickable options until you drive your mouse right over a specific location. Outlook, I am lookin’ at you.

Definitely. I also hate, with a passion, embedded videos that get embedded as the page loads, making everything else on the page move around. Try to click on a link to show the content you want and you wind up clicking on text or even worse on the video bringing you to the damn ad.
computerworld.com, I mean you.
Anyone have a non-Apple example of the crap described in the OP? I’ve managed to avoid this absurdity so far.

I find that my Back button tends to make those banners disappear. Failing that, there’s the red X button in the upper-right corner of my browser.

Actually, after a couple more threads, I’m going to turn my rants into an HBO series and then probably die before I finish them.

No one expects anyone to read page by page anymore. They expect you to scroll as you go, whether with your mouse or with your keyboard.

And most people do do this, which is why no one notices what you mentioned.

Moving a page down at a time is far superior. It ensures you don’t miss anything, it’s quicker and it requires less cognitive effort. You don’t have to pay attention to make sure you’ve scrolled down the right distance.

For many years I have paid my credit card bills on-line. As with so many other web sites, every time they tweaked their web sites, it got worse.

I’ve known for a long time that I could also pay my credit cards by telephone, but I never bothered to try it. Fairly recently, I did.

Fuck the web sites. I pay my credit cards by phone now. It’s faster, the “navigation” is quicker and more direct (just answer a few questions), and it’s free – no “convenience” fee to pay by phone. If I had thought to try this years ago, I would have quit using the web sites then.

My power company has modified their web site to the point to utter and total dysfunction. They lamely excuse themselves saying they don’t support older browsers. Fuck that shit. Pretty much everything that ever worked in older browsers still works in current browsers. But no, they had to go out of their way to find ways to re-implement every button, link, check-box, and input form in new-fangled ways that only work with the latest browsers, and maybe only some of those.

The nice customer support supervisor tells me that I will just have to go to the public library and use the terminals there.

So I drove to three different public libraries in three different cities in two counties before I found a public access terminal on which their web site works.

And what did I do once I got there? What do you think I did?

I unchecked the “e-billing” check box so they will now send me paper bills printed on dead trees via the United States Snail Mail, just like we used to do things back in the 1890’s, of course. At least that still works!

Hey, y’all could have figured that out!

My phone company (AT&T, those “communication” professionals) has their web site somewhat screwed up too, but at least it still works enough for me to pay my phone bill on-line.

Web sites (commercial ones in particular). If they ain’t broke, fix them until they are. And they do!

I’ve mentioned dozens of times on this board: I habitually run my browser with JavaScript disabled. This prevents a whole shitload of web site dysfunction. But of course, it also causes a whole shitload of other kinds of web site dysfunction.

If you mainly just want to read text, then on the whole most sites work a whole lot faster and cleaner with JS disabled. Sites load faster; they don’t set nearly as many cookies; there are fewer or no ads; fewer or no animations of videos; fewer unconventional browser behaviors that they’ve worked sooooo hard to code into their JavaScripts.

Page formatting is often a bit scrambled (and occasionally extremely scrambled), but mostly it’s good enough. Lots of things don’t work, but most often, the important things do.

All the sites where I do business on-line require JavaScript, so I turn it on for those. But as noted above, they are all getting so dynfunctional that I have abandoned several of them entirely, and I may quit a few more before I’m done.

The web, collectively and as a whole, is self-destructing.

All I want is clear navigation and non-obstructive overlapping. If I had that I’d forgive a lot of other annoying things, like endless scrolling or multiple scrollbars.

Though I will always hate auto-playing videos, mysterious bandwidth hogs, and multi-page galleries instead of carousels.

I hate the trend of financial institutions like banks and credit cards changing their site to look like a phishing page.

I’d be really interested to see a cite for this. Personally, I use both the scroll wheel on my mouse as well as the page-down key. I expect both to work to spec, and the headers/footers screw that up.

In other news, does anyone like infinite scroll? I’ve seen a few sites roll this out as if it were an improvement, but being able to reason about the length of the article you’re reading based on the size of the scrollbar, as well as being about to scroll to the bottom by pressing ‘End’ are basic features which are slowly becoming broken.