Season 07 Episode 10 – Jun 11, 2024  
39:53  Show Notes

Rebroadcast: 11 Things to avoid doing on your website


Rebroadcast of a season 5 episode - 11 Things to avoid doing on your website - We discuss various things to avoid doing with your website and why they are not a good idea.

Show Notes

  • Disabling copy/paste
  • Open in new tab
  • Click here
  • Using placeholder text and not using labels
  • Low contrast text
  • Not enough white space / breathing room
  • No comments in your code or unformatted code
  • For clients: Identify problems, don't suggest solutions.
  • Dates on blogs that are infrequently updated
  • Carousels / sliders
  • Popups, modals, lightboxes
  • Full size images on mobile

Show Links

Accuracy of transcript is dependant on AI technology.

Hi, this is Sean. This week we're going to re-broadcast the episode 11 Things to Avoid Doing on your website. In this episode we go over some common things that you can do or not do to improve your user's experience.

I hope you enjoy this episode and we'll be back with a new one shortly. Hello and welcome to the website 101 podcast. This is the podcast for novice web developers and small business owners. who want to learn more about running and optimizing their website.

We're your hosts. I'm Sean Smith. I am Amanda Lutz. And I'm Mike Mele. And today, we're going to be talking about various things that we think you should avoid doing. Don't do these things. It's just this where we have us.

Don't do these things. Do listen to us, but don't do these things. Yes. One of the benefits of doing web development and being online all the time is that you also get a broader user experience. I'm sure we have all experienced...

all sorts of different sites and things that are cool and things that are just absolutely awful. And I know that there have been times when a client is like, oh, I want to do this. And it's like, nope, nope, nope, your users will hate it because I am a user and I hate it.

Yeah, even across different clients, like I find that it's really a radical difference. What one client thinks is a great idea or would like to see on their website versus another, sometimes it's like polar opposites.

Yeah. All right. So let's start this off with. a tweet that I saw a long time ago by Corey House, and we'll share it in the show notes. So there's a, hey developers, please stop disabling copy paste in form fields.

And then he lists a couple of reasons why it's awful UX, it's confusing, it doesn't improve security, it breaks password managers, which is probably the most important thing. And it risks typos on critical info.

So where would you see this? You're trying to log into a website, you're using one password or your favorite password manager and and and and and and and and and and and and you've got 20, 30 mixed characters

with special symbols and whatever, and you're not allowed to paste it in. So what do you gotta do? Now you gotta type it out. Good luck. All caps or some caps, all that stuff. I think at that point,

I would probably open my browser developer tools and I would inspect that field and I would literally type in value equals and my password. I'm not typing 20 characters. I will cheat the system to be able to copy and paste that.

That's a good idea. I've never tried that. That works if you're on your desktop, but if you're on your phone, good luck. So the purpose of doing this, I guess, is the idea that when it says, you know,

enter a password and then whatever, enter your password again. No, the double password? Yeah, they have to type it twice. They're trying to prevent someone from mistyping a password and then copying it and pasting the mistyped password

because that way it'll remember their mistyped password and they're still not gonna be remembered next time. Yeah, but that's why you have validation and you just confirm that what's in. entered in both fields is exactly the same.

No, no, but that won't solve it. If I type, if my password is chicken, and I spell it with a T, and in both cases, it's gonna say it's correct. It doesn't know that it's. Yeah, okay, I need more coffee obviously.

I've never seen it on a password field or on just regular info fields. The only time I've ever seen it, and I think it's with my banking website where this drives me crazy, where they're like, I'm gonna send you

a one time verification. code and they send it to me every single time I try to do this thing and it's like one time my butt you're lying but they'll send me that they'll email me the verification code and I mean it's only six characters it's not a big of a

hassle is like a 20 character password but it's like I can't just copy and paste it and when you're in that mode of like I don't want to mistype it I don't want to have to do this again I just want to do it once copy and paste nope

middle digits can't paste right not fun not fun not fun also as a pro tip don't make chicken password. I use that as an example. That's not one of my passwords. Spelled with a T or otherwise. Yeah. He says that now as he goes to update all of his

passwords every time. Oh, meanwhile I'm logged into Mike's Facebook. All right. I want to move on to one here about links opening in a new tab. So I actually wrote a blog post about this, not the specific one, but it was

referenced in the post. Sometimes people, so if you have a page, an article, whatever, with all these. links on it where when someone clicks on a link, what should happen? And the way I've settled, let's see what you two think.

And I think Amanda, you're like this too. I've settled on the idea that if the link is within the website, I'm on. It opens in the same window, same tab. If it's an external site, it opens in a new tab automatically.

That's what I do now. Is that what you guys do? I agree. Yes. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Because it, because again, as an end user, if I'm looking at a site, if I'm doing a thing, especially if it's like.

documentation and I'm trying to figure something out and they're like, oh, you know, click over here to stack overflow. This came up or some other documentation. I don't necessarily want to lose where I was. It might have more

stuff to read. So I will always right click and open in a new tab. So it would be nice if just everyone could get on board and if you're opening to a different site, new tab it. I do have one client which shall remain nameless at this point. Who?

makes new or makes links on their site open in a new tab like internal links and I do too. I have a client like that. And I've told them this is a bad user experience and I do occasionally open up new tabs for links on a site but I just middle click and it opens in the new tab and I get to choose when it does it.

The expected behavior is that it stays in the current tab. Yeah, that was my blog post I referenced. I wrote it years ago and that's where I was then. I was like, don't open anything in a new tab automatically.

Just leave it to the visitor to either right click or if you have a mouse wheel with a button, you can middle click on it and usually that does the same thing. That's what I do all the time. So I was like, just let the user decide.

Now I've softened a little and said, okay, well, if it's a new site, then send them over there. But yeah, I have a client that does the same as yours. It's just everything. They assume you want to keep reading the article you're on.

You just want to briefly check out that one link sort of thing, so open it in a new tab. Yeah, and they'll just come back. Clients are free to do that. Like when I make a website, they have the option

when they're creating links in their. to open in a new tab, but typically that should be for things that you're going off site. So, you know, like when we update the show notes on the podcast, unless we're talking about an older

episode, everything goes in a new tab. So earlier I mentioned a tweet, well that tweet will open up in a new tab. Yeah. You know what though? You could all, if for any old links, you could do a little

JavaScript to do that for you. Yeah, I do, I put a little JavaScript in there now that does all this thinking for me and it's pretty cool. Rather than making them click a box that says, open it in a new tab, every time they make a link

in a CMS, you know? Clients can enter content, that's up to the client. Yep, exactly. Figure it out. Let's talk about when you're creating a link in your copy and you use the phrase, click here.

Why is this a bad idea, Mike? Oh geez, let me count the ways. It's, the accessibility would be my biggest concern these days, you know, people who are using assistive devices. where they can't necessarily read the entire thing

and they're using something that scrolls through all the links on the page for them instead of saying, you know, website 101 podcast and they know that when I click on that link, it's gonna take me to that site.

If it says click here, when their device reads it out to them, they're gonna be, what does that mean? Where's that gonna take me? Especially if there's like 10 links that say it's click here too.

Yeah. So it's not so much that you're against the phrase click here or just have the clickable link be a more. Like click here to read more about type of thing. This was one of my gripes was the link being labeled that, but that, what you just said

is actually a second gripe of mine. I don't think you should be using the phrase click here at all. And that is consistent with what the world wide web consortium, the W3C, advises for link labels. They say one of the sort of rules or guidelines is don't talk about

mechanics. So don't say things like click here, scroll down, look over there, blah, blah, blah, because depending on the device someone's using maybe. it's moved to somewhere else and it's not down.

It's somewhere else, you know, whatever. Okay, that's cool. Yeah. Additionally, click here is not good descriptive text. If you put in learn more about, actually learn more is not the great word.

If you put in, let's, I would like you to read and you put the article title and you make the article title the link, you're getting actual better context. And theoretically, this is actually better

for SEO as well because Google likes. have good context. And so if you're doing that for internal links, that will help you. If you're using Click here for your external links, there's no real need. You still have that need to improve

your users experience so that they understand the context of what they're clicking and where they're going. Yeah, and we talked about this on way back on season four episode one, which we'll put in the

show notes because Sean and I think we're talking about other do's and don'ts or whatever it was. Yeah, and so there is sort of like a set of guidelines like I say that The W3C has to follow when you create link labels,

not using click here. Also, not everyone's clicking, right? Phones, you touch things and all that stuff. So I guess you should change it to click or tap here. Yeah, touch tap. Whatever. Look here.

Hit the tab key. That's cool. Yeah, I usually just back away when it comes to content. And I'm just like here. Oh, yeah? Dear client here, do it. I mean, it's very common now. You still see click here all the time.

And people, that's why we're, you know, it's it. here now because it's been around the whole time the web existed but it's people still still do it. Well historically people did know what to do. Yeah. So I mean back in the late 90s early 2000s it made sense but things

have changed and unless you're five years old and haven't used a computer everybody understands what clicking is. I think five-year-olds know now too. Right. Yeah or or maybe very elderly without without a lot of computer

experience but still. You know what I want to talk about. What what is that? What I absolutely hate. is the form fields that have a placeholder, but that's it. It doesn't have any labels or anything like that.

We're at the point now where all of these fields are being auto-filled, but if the person who's developed the form picks a different name for the field, that maybe on a different form that you've already filled out

had different information, I'm like just fill in the form for me, but it may or may not be the right information. And the worst thing about that is you don't know what's supposed to go there, and if you remove the text,

now you can read it, and then you have to put it back, but you could forget, especially on a long form, you could forget what the previous field was supposed to be for. No. Exactly. The worst example of that, what you just said, Sean,

is for me is date formatting. If you're putting on a date, and it's like, is it month slash day slash year? Is it for carrier characters for the year or just two? And then you start typing the date,

and it's like, wait a minute, what was it again? I gotta race it again to see the placeholder text. Yeah. I like it, I like how they do it, when it looks like a placeholder, but then when you, as soon as the cursor goes in there,

it moves the placeholder up to be a label. Still within the field. Yes, I've seen that. Yeah. I think it's good functionality and it looks good. Yeah. It does. And if you absolutely, for whatever reason, have to do your placeholders label, make sure

you have a screen reader label for assistive devices. Right. Somewhere in the background of the code, name the label something properly, not just a placeholder. Yeah. Yeah. Because anybody who's keyboard navigating or using a voice reader, they need that information.

Otherwise, it's just going to be a field. They're not going to know what it's for. The other thing with placeholders in general is sometimes I've seen sight. where the placeholder text is too opaque, like it's black, and it looks like the field has content

in it already. And it's like just really confusing. Like, oh, that's just a placeholder to give me a recommendation. I didn't kind of realize that, you know? That happened to me and Sean last week when we were trying to set up my new hosting on Digital

Ocean. Oh, really? Digital Ocean, you should be listening to us. And sponsor. Yes, yes, please. That sure to happen after this. We've just told them how to make their site better. That's some free UI UX right there.

It's the website 101. Speaking of low contrast text, we've brought this up in other episodes, which I can't recall off hand right now, but there was a trend a few years ago where your footer would have very low contrast test,

not test text, very low contrast text, which is difficult to read. Looks cool, but it's difficult to read, especially for people who have vision problems. older, their eyes are bad. And it's bad accessibility. You will not pass any accessibility testing.

And with all the improvement or increases in accessibility laws and regulations around the world, you need to be aware of that and not use low contrast text. Yeah. And this is in my aging state as I am now getting older. Not just low contrast,

but small text. Like it's really being an issue for me now. I need to wear like reading glasses and that. And it's really annoying when the text is too small or too light gray to be able to read it.

So don't do that. My wife's eyes are way better than mine. Sometimes she asks me to proofread some stuff that she's writing for work. And every time I look at her computer, I have to increase the font size.

I just can't see what she can see. She's only two years younger than me. I'm just like fading fast. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's the same when you've just got like not enough white space on the page.

Like I used to be of the mindset that it's like somebody is going to come to this page to see the content, give them as much content. as you can all at once, reduce the scrolling above the fold, all of that other stuff.

But now it's like, yeah, that's hard to read. Like let's increase the font size, increase the line height, just add some white space around to make it look better and also just easier to read. Yeah, that's a good point.

That's probably where it sort of came from, isn't it like above the fold stuff. And no, one of the, they're only here for one second. I gotta show them every single word that I have on this page.

I have a rescue site that I took over that. was built by somebody else and the whole site is tiny little gray text and I can't wait to just redo the whole thing. Yeah. How old is that? Because I mean, I still see it occasionally,

but that trend is a little bit older than I mean, this is there. It was a WordPress theme that was built that way. I think it's five, six years old or something. Yeah. That would be about the end of the trend. Yeah. Yeah. My website, my personal site is about that old and it looks like that.

Like it's just like a wall of small gray content. I need to update it, but. But you know, she makes her children. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. Totally get that. We should do an episode about that topic sometime.

How to fix your own work. We're busy fixing other people's work. Good. Find time and pay yourself to do your own website. Hey, this is Mike here and we're currently looking for topic and or guest suggestions.

So if there's anything you'd like us to talk about or anyone you'd like us to talk. to, please reach out website slash contact. All right, so let's move on to something a little bit more

web developer oriented here. Commenting your code. Oh, oh my God. Must comment your code. I know as you type it, you think, oh, I understand exactly what's going on here. But three months, six months later, you're not going to.

Before we go any further, dear all of my Seneca students, it's not just me being anal retentive, be word. Please listen to these other professional developers as we talk about code style and structure.

Sean, preach. Well, I basically said it. I don't know how many times I've been working on a project and I come back to it three months, six months later and there's maybe a little bit of complex logic going on in the JavaScript

or the Twigcode or PHP or whatever. I can't follow it because there's no instructions about what does this block? What does this block do? How is this related to this? Commenting your code really makes it more readable

for yourself. So don't worry about other people. Well, you should, but the most important reason is when you take over or you come revisit a site you worked on that you understand how it was done. It also benefits if you're working on a team or you like Mike just said was talking about

what he's a rescue site he took over from someone else. If that developer has not commented the code, it's really difficult to follow. One last benefit for commenting code. Recently, I've been working

on a site that's really stretching my gravi- like, gravi- JavaScript skills. And I wanted to do something, but I- I knew what I needed to do, but not how to do it. So what I did is I commented the code before I wrote the code. So step one, step two, step three, step

four. Sudo code. Yeah, I've done that. Thank you. I forgot the term. Sudo code. It really helped. Just getting in the habit of writing comments. made me able to do something that I thought I might have to hire a contractor for.

Yeah, that's the thing is that the web is so complex now. We're not talking about writing a comment that says the following is a heading, a main level heading, and this is a subheading. It's not like that. It's like when you're creating four

loops and really complex stuff with CMS syntax or JavaScript or whatever, yeah, it can be really difficult to remember what the heck is going on when you come back to it later. We've all experienced.

that. So whether it's a note for yourself, for the future, or some other developer who might take part in it sometime, yeah, definitely. There's no penalty for filling your code with all kinds of comments so that you can understand it. It's a great idea. I think also properly formatted code.

This is another thing that I need to try to even still drill into all of the students. It's like code is just so much easier to read if you've got like the nice indentation as you go down with all the children and then.

and then the closing tags and they all come back. And it's the same with CSS and it's the same with JavaScript. Anything that's in between the opening and close brackets, indent. It needs to be in.

Anything that's between the open and close tags, indent. And you can get like little plug-ins or sometimes it's built into your code editor that you push a button and it automatically indents things the way it's supposed to be.

You don't even have to worry about it. It'll even do it on save. Yeah. Something like prettier does a lot of proper formatting and things like that. Yeah. And yeah, I know there's a debate about tabs versus spaces.

The only thing I have to say about that, pick what you like and be consistent. Yeah. Agree. That's it. I know what I like. If what you like is different than me, it doesn't matter. Yep. Okay. I'm going to go pivot here and talk about a client-based thing that sometimes I encounter.

So if you're a developer listening, you know, you can share this with your clients. If you're a client listening, listen up. And that is... If you have an issue that you're trying to solve on your website, rather than proposing

the solution to the web developer, just identify what the problem is and discuss solutions with the web developer. So a simple example would be, can you make this button blue? Don't say that. Instead say, you know, I feel like this button is not visible enough in the context of where

it is. What can we do to make it stand out more? Make it pop and then come up with it. and make it use the blank tag. No. Does that still exist? The blank tag? It does. It still works? Yeah.

I'm going to put that on the site sometime just for gags. Anyway, so yeah, don't assume that you have the best idea and just spit it out and turn your web developer into a pixel pusher where they just implement ideas that you have.

Unless that's the relationship you have with your web developer about it. I don't think it should be. Your developer should have other suggestions. that could solve the problem that you're looking to solve

rather than just the one that you jump to immediately. Absolutely, collaboration. Just a pet peeve of mine. And actually for any freelancers who are working on their own, trying to build up clients,

one of the best things you can do to get clients on board is to find solutions for their problems and to learn what the problems that they're trying to solve, you need to be able to talk to them. And not just like, you don't want to be a yes man.

I mean, sometimes you do. But. You don't want to just say yes to everything and do whatever they want. You need to be able to push back or say, what are you really trying to do here? What is this going to help?

How is this going to help your business or solve this problem? What is the real problem underlying this issue? Yeah, it's a combination of the web developers' expertise in web development and the knowledge

they have combined with the clients' expertise in that person's business or organization in their audience. You have to kind of like blend the two of them and come up with a solution. Those are the best clients to work with, yeah.

Yeah. Amanda, you're up. So something I did learn a very long time ago and that I still tell my clients is that if everyone wants a blog, everyone thinks that their opinion is important and I'm gonna share it out there with the rest of the world

and everyone's always got like these really great, they're gonna do it all the time, fantastic. Writing blogs is hard. And after a couple months, everybody invariably falls off a little bit, unless you're a writer, you know,

but if you're already running your business and trying to do this and got a little little little little little little family life as well, there's just not enough hours in the day. And so you're

not going to have blog posts that often. Maybe don't display the date prominently. Or even WordPress, I think the default WordPress used to come with, it looked like in the sidebar widget, it looked like a

calendar. And so then you could click to link on each day that had a blog post. So if some user comes to your site and it's like the last three months don't have any links because you haven't made any blog posts.

I think that that looks more unprofessional than, hey, here's some content, here's some blog posts. You don't know when I posted it because I haven't listed the date. I think that makes more sense. 100% unless you're writing regularly and then you've always got fresh content,

you might want to show that it's fresh by having the date. Yeah. And I do have a blog on my company site and a long time ago, I did have dates on it and I was updating like two or three times a month and that was great.

And then my frequency of updates went down and two or three years ago I Remove the dates because I was like Yeah, it's just it's just it just looked bad in my opinion that I had this great blog article

And it's the most recent one, but now it's three months old. Yeah. Yeah, you know I don't have as much to say but what I do have to say is still valuable. So I keep it up unless I Think it's dated in which case I just hide it. Yeah, that's the thing

I have a client that they are sort of a think tank and their whole jam is about publishing articles all the time. So they have dates really prominent on there. They have the, you know, this will take six minutes to read kind of thing.

That's cool. All that stuff. And that's fine if you do publish a lot, but yeah, if you don't, then think of your content, try to sort of spin it as more what we call evergreen content so that, you know,

if it remains online for a long time, it still remains relevant. I mean, if you're writing an article about some issue that's happening, whatever. news and it's going to go away, then that's nothing you can do about that.

But if you're talking about something, you know, about your organization or web development or whatever you're writing about, try to think about, well, how can I ensure that this article is going to make sense and still be relevant a year from now and write it with that in mind

and then you can take the date off and it's not going to cause you all the problems we talked about earlier. Yeah. Yeah. The evergreen content is, that's really important that you should also be checking your stats

to see what articles are actually getting hits. Maybe valuable to you like I wrote a blog post many years ago, and I no longer Use sass, but this blog post even up until recently was one of my biggest

Articles ever just constantly getting hits and I was like, oh, yeah, I'm just gonna keep it up Like yeah, I don't I don't use sass anymore It's a great a great way to write your CSS But obviously this thing was helping people out because they were getting a lot of hits on them

I think my most popular blog post is the one where I write about the phrase click here. I wrote it like, I don't know, 10 years ago, and it's still people hit it all the time. Okay, I want to talk about carousels. They're very popular. Everybody loves them.

Almost nobody looks beyond the second slide. And even the first slide to the second slide is a massive drop off. There's a website which I'll include in the show notes called Should I Use a Carousel? And it's a carousel and you have to go through. But each slide has something interesting or

I'm using about it with links to research about why carousels don't work. Yeah, that's great. Now, I do use these with clients. I push back a little bit, but you know what? In the end, I've educated them.

It's their website. If they want to do it, it's not a hill I'm willing to die on, but I really think that you should avoid carousels. There's not really any good reason to use one. Actually, I just thought of something, and this is not a good reason

to use them or whatever, but I have heard friends complaining about the jobs that they work at and how the executives always want these slide shows. They always want these decks. They always have to be a presentation.

So I wonder if some of the decision makers, some of these higher level decision makers are so expecting to see information in that format that it's like, well, Carousel will do that for me. Don't do it.

They're not great for all of the reasons that Sean just said, but it just occurred to me now. I wonder if maybe that's why they became popular and why they're sort of lingering around for so much longer than they should.

Yeah. Almost like a PowerPoint type. Yeah. Yeah. It could just be, it could be like you said stakeholders who want to put their mark on their website and your point of contact as the web developer is with somebody lower down in the

chain and they just have to follow orders and like they understand what you're saying they might even agree with they don't necessarily have the power to enforce that. They're like, nope. The CEO or the CFO or somebody in the CC wants this slider. We got to do it.

I will say, because I've used sliders as well even recently. And my position these days is, I found that traditionally they've been used as a way for people to shove as much as they can onto a homepage.

It's like, above the fold, yeah. Well, I want to be on the homepage. So do I, yeah. And they want to just put a big slider up on the top and everyone, every department gets their own little slide in there.

That's just dumb. Don't do that. But I will say that I've seen really clever uses of them where they're used to, to, to sort of showcase content that. where each slide has equal value, you could say,

each equal visual weight. So an example might be for news articles or things like that. I wouldn't say staff, but news is a good one, news blog where each slide is just another entry, and it's not like they're competing for

your attention against each other like they would if they were content from various departments in an organization. So I think that could be a valid use of them as a way to just save space on the thing.

Here's the latest news article and there's a little arrow there. You want to see the... the one right before that, we'll just click that. And if you don't click it, it's not a huge deal. We're not counting on you to go through the whole slide show,

you know what I mean? So I've seen that intelligent uses like that that I think are kind of forgivable. Photo galleries also work like that. If you want to save a little bit of space, you have like a single thumbnail

and that it loads up a model and you can do a slideshow like that. Yeah, so you can do it sort of okay, but generally it should be sort of a last resort, I would think most of the time. I would also think.

trying to keep the number of slides to a minimum. Yes. That's important just for page size and page speed and loading and stuff like that. There's nothing worse than seeing a carousel and those little dots at the bottom is like 15 different dots.

And like, I have to go through all of these things. This is all important to me. Yeah, I'm not doing that. Yeah, don't do that. So I have something along these lines that I want to bring up and it gives me a headache

just hearing this word and its pop-ups. Yeah, yay, pop-ups. Yeah, everybody's favorite. Yeah. Also known as modals or light boxes. Yeah, so this is the, yeah, exactly the thing where you're on a site.

and all of a sudden this thing pops up right in front of you with a call to action to do something or whatever. Sign up for a newsletter or something. There's a whole bunch of different implementations of this

that again, I think you can do it in a proper way. Like I've done it in ways where you're on a news listing page and as you get to the bottom, something slides out from the side and doesn't obscure the whole page.

It just sort of draws your attention because it's animated in and it says, oh, you wanna sign up for the newsletter and you can know about all the... these things as they come in or whatever. So I think that kind of thing can be acceptable,

but yeah, if you're going to just have a window pop up right in front of everybody's face and block them from doing what they were already doing on your site, that's probably a bad idea. Do you know what I've seen lately? When I closed the window, pop up came them,

oh, you're leaving? Are you sure? And it's like, oh, those are the worst. That is such a bad idea. And thank you, I will never be back here again. Exactly. Oh my god. Any sort of pop up that comes without user initially.

action is just wrong. Like I land on your page five seconds later, the whole screen is grayed out and you're asking me to subscribe to your newsletter or go buy something on sale in your shop. Yeah. Goodbye. I've come to your website for

the very first time. I'm just reading about whatever services it is you provide. You want to subscribe and it's like I don't even know what you do yet. Get out of my face. One of the things that I often hear from people, it's all, this is, these

are big in the marketing community I find. and pop-ups, I find any site that has to do with marketing specifically, they just adore pop-ups. They're flying them all over the place. And there's like, one of the things that I always hear

is when I talk to people who do those kind of sites is they say, well, they work, the truth is they work, those pop-ups, they get people to sign up. And not the thing I always say is, I'm talking specifically about email sign-up pop-ups.

The thing is, even if you did that and you collect email address, some people are gonna say, okay, fine, I'll... sign up and they give you their email address. The question is, My favorite email address is

Right. But when you send out your newsletter as a result, the question is, is that person going to actually consume your content? Are they gonna read it? Are they gonna come back? Because that's the measurement you have to measure,

not whether or not you've captured someone's email address. That's a good point. Sometimes people just put it in to make the thing go away. Or when they get your thing, they'll hit it spam button.

And suddenly you're marked as spam by Google and you're not gonna get it. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing.

And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing.

And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing.

And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. And then you're gonna get your thing. that's backfiring, you know? So you really have to make sure you're not causing more problems for yourself than you're solving, right?

Absolutely. That's why I, like, if I can't do something on a site that I actually need to be able to read something, I'll just use or like, I've never. 8123 at I don't think I've ever seen, I mean,

sometimes like with those really stupid not stack overflow, but others supposed to be especially programming, getting, like, asking questions and getting answers. from the community. I think that's the only time I've ever seen a hey you you

have to subscribe you have to log in to be able to see everybody's answers. I don't think especially like marketing or shopping or something like that I don't think I've ever seen a modal that would not go away. Yeah I guess that's true.

But you know you know how people are gonna behave like some you know like people who aren't that familiar again with the web whether it's old people young people I don't know but maybe they think I have to do that I have to put

this in in order to I don't know if anyone's like that. So how I've how I see this is I'm going to your website it's like I'm visiting somebody's house for the first time like I got this new friend I'm going to their house for the

first time And I think you know we're gonna have a couple drinks, watch the game or sit in the backyard, have a barbecue, but no, you know what to do? They sit me down and they start talking about their MLM.

That's what this is like. I'm so out of there. I've got some protein shakes I can help you. If you can just help me sell them, we're gonna be rich, the two of us. Absolutely. I think of it more as like you enter a store,

like a department store and a clown jumps in front of your face and start saying, hey, look at this. And you. would just leave. If you don't have a heart attack first, unless it's a clown in store, I guess. All right, so we're gonna wrap this up soon, I think. I think

anyone else got something else they want to talk about? I'm good. I'll throw one more thing in here. Full-size images on mobile. This is another one for web developers. It's a little, hopefully it doesn't happen that much these days, but

you know, if you're serving up an image for desktop and it's a huge, you know, 1400 pixel wide image because it's all nice and high quality, don't serve that same image for people on mobile devices.

have to resize it and it should be doing that automatically with your content management system or whatever so that with someone's viewing it on a small screen they don't need all that resolution give them a smaller version of

it because if you serve them the full-size image they're just making them download a whole bunch of stuff and wait longer than they have to so make sure you're not doing that. Mobile plans in North America are awful so you're making

the picture element is your friend. And that's another that's another strong argument for mobile first web developer. is you don't want these people on their mobile devices using their mobile data to download these big,

beautiful, gorgeous images. And then, oh, here's the media query done the wrong way. You also have to, this is more so for background images, but now you also have to download this smaller, mobile-sized image.

And it's like, no, think of all of the mobile stuff first. And then people on desktops, they can, if they need to download a bigger image, they can also do that. Absolutely. Yeah, think about mobile first,

because that's, well, that's the right thing to do. Yes. So a lot of what we talked about for developers, touches on accessibility and mobile. Yeah. All of these are main, really big reasons why you should not do what we've been telling

you about. Don't do X. Yeah. And I have a feeling that we may come up with some more ideas like this and add to this list and maybe we'll do a follow up episode with more stuff that we think you should not do.

Yeah, I'd love to. I'd love it if any listeners also have ideas of things that we should not do. Let us know. Yeah. Yeah. And also why? Ask a question if you're not sure. Is this a good idea? Maybe we didn't talk about it.

Or if you disagree with something we said, by all means, website slash contact to get in touch and tell us, tell put us on our place if you dare. Oh. I mean, if they're correct, as long as I'm saying.

My mic is double dog daring you. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The website 101podcast. as hosted by me, Amanda Lutz. You can also find me online at And by me, Mike Mela, find me online at or on socials at Mike Mela.

The website 101 podcast is hosted by me, Sean Smith. You can find me online at my website and on LinkedIn where my username is caffeinecreations. you

Have a question for Sean, Mike, and Amanda? Send us an email.