The modern web is becoming an unusable, user-hostile wasteland

Seen on HN, The modern web is becoming an unusable, user-hostile wasteland

first it starts with a great intro little story by Joel Spolsky from There’s no place like 127.0.0.1

In one of Gerald Weinberg’s books, probably The Secrets of Consulting, there’s the apocryphal story of the giant multinational hamburger chain where some bright MBA figured out that eliminating just three sesame seeds from a sesame-seed bun would be completely unnoticeable by anyone yet would save the company $126,000 per year. So they do it, and time passes, and another bushy-tailed MBA comes along, and does another study, and concludes that removing another five sesame seeds wouldn’t hurt either, and would save even more money, and so on and so forth, every year or two, the new management trainee looking for ways to save money proposes removing a sesame seed or two, until eventually, they’re shipping hamburger buns with exactly three sesame seeds artfully arranged in a triangle, and nobody buys their hamburgers any more.

after the many examples, the best part of the article is toward the end

In a nutshell, if I can describe my browsing experience in 2019.

  • Websites asking to login, register or enter an email.
  • Websites asking for your phone number after you gave up your email.
  • Websites asking to allow HTML5 notifications.
  • Websites downloading 50Mb of data and making hundreds of requests to serve 6Kb worth of text.
  • Websites that are not functioning because they have too much JavaScript.
  • Websites that are not functioning because some of the JavaScript was caught by uBlock Origin.
  • Websites asking to turn off the Ad Blocker.
  • Websites asking to accept the cookies in 41,484 different ways.
  • Websites asking to download their mobile app which is non-native and requires around 200Mb of storage.
  • Popups to buy a deal or download some random crap.
  • reCaptcha with random street images; that are sometimes impossible to solve.
  • CloudFlare DDoS protection thinking I’m a bot.
  • Youtube running a 2:30 minutes ad for a 3:30 minutes music video.
  • Video or Website not showing up because I’m not in said country.
  • Linkedin that keeps sending dozens of emails despite unsubscribing multiple times; and somehow evades the Spam filter

it is indeed user-hostile …


By hyping so much the web app, people (I’m not gonna call them developers) use all that tech, wait …
no, they misuse all that tech, confusing documents and apps, and throw all that garbage into your face when you browse the web.

Desktop apps would not get away doing half of this shit, and mobile apps well …
some have adopted the very same user-hostile logic used for web apps.

It is really a sad state of affairs, so I will just end with that: if you build an app, don’t screw your users like most of those web apps are doing, users are not stupid, they will tolerate some bullshit but if you push too far they will simply not get your app (yep even if it’s free) and certainly not buy it.

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