The Internet sucks - what do you think?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Zab the Fab, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Zab the Fab macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #1
    Seriously, I am so sick of confusing websites and idiotic designs.

    Apple.com is probably the best one I know of, but even that website could be more logical to navigate. Microsoft and the like of course being horrific examples of the opposite side of the scale.

    In fact, I formed a company now and we are developing completely new, from the ground up and totally different navigation concepts for online shopping, forum, blog, wikipedias, and even social networks. But also just basic normal websites for clients, done in a different way.

    So we're determined to change everything, and have come up with a fundamentally different philosophy for sorting and structuring content, presenting the visitor with a few easy choices at first, and let them zero in on why they came to the given site to begin with. We call it Topic Related Object Navigation gui.

    We think it's pretty bad out there, but what do you think? Can we even call Facebook "easy" by any stretch?

    What is the worst examples of websites that you know of?
     
  2. Alphabetize macrumors 6502

    Alphabetize

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    Oct 6, 2013
    #2
    I absolutely agree, some websites are just horrible. It's not just websites though, I feel that a lot of software is poorly designed too.
     
  3. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #3
    Absolutely! Look at Microsoft or Adobe. That's two ships of horror software I left behind a decade ago.

    But I think especially websites just seems to be out of control. Perhaps the problem is we got graphics artists playing web designers, as if graphics had anything to do with a good navigation structure ...at all. Either way, it seems the internet took a wrong turn somewhere, not sure when.

    Perhaps it was when the first "web designer" thought to himself "hmm, I'm gonna put up a site map because there's no way anyone is gonna find anything inhere!". What he should have done of course is to rebuild the navigation rather than create a "map" of his navigation. Isn't that the first sign something isn't quite right?

    I spent years thinking about this, because I get frustrated when I can't find what I'm looking for on a website, and that problem seems to be growing. More and more information on the front page. It's like a shop who slams every inventory into the front windows, and can't understand why the shoppers pass by in the streets.

    There is another way. We're pretty excited. Our one-page-shopping solution is in beta, we have a WorkSpace CMS that we built for a client with a total overview on the front page. I desperately want to redesign the forum concept and the blog idea into something else than what we have today.
    I mean, even the basic forum on the internet can be horrific to figure out. In fact you wonder how so many members even got past the "rocket science crash course".
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #4
    Sounds like you are getting ready to sell your opinion ...
    I like my important "site stuff", all on the front page, without having to click on links to get to my important stuff, despite ending with a somewhat junky looking site.
    How are you hoping to convince your clients, whose opinions might be similar to mine, that your radical new idea (at least in your own mind) is somehow better than the client's opinion?
     
  5. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #5
    Sure, that's usually what a company does? And I am truly frustrated by the current state of web design out there. But first let's hear you sell your opinion ...

    So your sell is a somewhat clunky looking site, for the benefit of not having to navigate. My sell is kinda the reverse. I'll let people make some basic and simple choices at the beginning, so they can 'zoom' in on the reason why they in particular came to the site, or which section of the site they find most interesting to explore.
    I didn't even know I was going to?
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #6
    I'm not offering nor selling anything.
    What you are suggesting is, to me, a very vague impression.

    Have you got anything close to a test site, where you can show off your ideas?
    You could name it "TRON test site" :D (sorry, that's my only idea for today…)
     
  7. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #7
    Yes I'm only outlining the philosophies our concepts are based on. The idea here was to start a debate on how horrific most websites are organised. It's not only the visual design, but in fact just as much the organization of the content.

    I don't think we're supposed to come on here and spam threads with links, you somehow extrapolated "TRON" so you might be able to google the site. Or I can send you a private message.
     
  8. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #8
    I hear you…
    I expected just a PM, and not an actual email. I am a regular on several Mac forums, but I am usually "uncomfortable" with standard emails, uninvited from forum sites. But yours was OK.
    Thanks for the link. I didn't want to like your simple design, as I have seen others that were simple, too, but very limiting. Yours appears to be a nice change.
    I am saying this from ignorance - I can't admit to be a site design expert, but I've been around sites for a long time, and as a long-time browser user, your design is good for me… My feeling is that you have put in some useful time, with a good plan (which is what you said :D )
    Good luck with your business!
     
  9. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #9
    TIP:
    You can turn on/off the option for others to send you emails and/or PMs here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/profile.php?do=editoptions

    I figured since it was on .... :)

    I'm glad you liked the site. It has become a deep passion for me to figure out how to structure different kinds of websites. I assume you were able to find the stuff I 'challenged' you to find.

    But enough about my company and website, what I really wanted to vent in this thread is how much the internet really and truly does SUCK. It's beyond belief. Even one of the best websites out there, Apple.com, is built on the traditional flawed logic. Yes, I have informed them of this, and while I know that my email was sent forward in their system with this in subject "TAKE A LOOK AT THIS !!!" I never did hear back from them, but I have been noticing certain changes taking place in their support community section which is clearly inspired from what I sent them. They didn't do it right, but the the basic concept is there. Whether or not they suddenly launch a completely restructured website based on this, I have no idea. I hope they do, because we would all be able to actually find what we are looking for on there. Imagine that.

    But www.Apple.com is one of the most clean ones out there, based on the flawed logic of traditional web navigation. The horrible ones out there is a nightmare to navigate.

    Does anyone think Facebook is an easy website to navigate? I don't. But we learn to use it cause we use it often, so it seems easy. It's not. And it's also of course built on the same flawed logic like all the rest.

    I just checked www.Microsoft.com and was surprised to see that they have made big steps forward, and still has many many yet to go.
     
  10. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #10
    I'm curious, how DID you extrapolate TRON ? Was it just a coincidence? You got half our company name somehow, I was wondering how lol. Psychic?
     
  11. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #11

    I work in the web design field as well and I totally agree with the majority of the websites on the internet being crap. Your concept sounds intriguing but it's hard to understand exactly what you mean without seeing it in action. I'd love to see even a basic idea of your concept... it's hard to visualize just by reading about it.

    One of the biggest problems I've noticed and read about is that many people who visit websites don't like having to click around to find the stuff they want. For basic sites, they want the critical information right there as soon as they load the site. How does your concept here address that issue?
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #12
    Where did I get TRON?
    Easy enough - you had it all in caps, so I though it might be important to you.
    I wasn't really guessing the name of your site, but using your own words to give a name back as a suggestion. Call it psychic if you like, it was really just tossing your words back to you. And, it appears you didn't need my help on the name :D
     
  13. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #13
    I think what you are describing is a problem in the IT world as a whole.

    I do FileMaker development on the side. I get so tired of programmers who ask what a system should do, then go sit in their cubical for a couple of months and develop what they think it should look like instead of asking the people who will be using it what they need.

    Or the IT department that told us what our new computers were going to be without ever asking us what we needed. (They had no idea what we were doing in the field offices.)

    I think, by extension, the same argument can be made here. Businesses are told they need a web page. So they go to a developer and ask for a web page. No one asks what the customer wants or why they are coming there in the first place. When I go to a business web site, I am usually looking for a phone number, an address, or hours. Don't make me hunt, please.

    The other thing they forget is that the internet is bigger than they are! Do you have any idea how many newspaper and tv station web sites don't have their city and state on them? (Radio stations, however, almost always do, interestingly.). You have to remember that your audience on the web is no longer local. At my family's two businesses, we get orders to Rochester, NY or MN all the time.

    Finally, I get tired of the mentality that anything can be done on the web. So we make a solution that does it, but not well. Sorry, but sometimes talking to a real person will make the transaction better. Take our flower shop. We have a Teleflora web site that shows everything that Teleflora wants us to sell. Sometimes we just can't get those flowers. So we substitute (read the fine print on the site) then the customer is irate because it wasn't just like the picture. If they had called we could have told them what we can or can't do that week.

    Sorry for going off on a rant, but I really think this is a topic that needs more discussion and it goes beyond simple web design. It's just as much about the roll of technology and how we interact with it.
     
  14. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #14
    I have sent you a PM with a link. Are we allowed to post links like that here?

    I think what people don't like is "clicking around" for things they can't find, and since most websites are designed so complicated the users naturally prefer having what they specifically are looking for.
    Of course this doesn't work. The idea of a website is to layer information.

    So the trick is to make navigation - easy.
     
  15. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #15
    Agreed. It's actually why Apple is doing so well because they know how to sit down and figure out what it is the customers need and want, even before they know themselves.

    We don't believe in asking people what they want [actually Apple doesn't either]. John Ford once said:"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said »a faster horse«".
    I think it's the lazy approach to just ask people what they want. They have no idea what they want. All they know is what they liked best of what was made available to them last year. They are not interested in finding out what they really need, but they recognize it when others figure out what they need and offer it to them. Hail hail Apple :)

    Yes. You are absolutely right. Or how about supermarket websites that haven't figured out that we really just wanna find out what their opening hours are and where the heck they are located. Geeeze.

    That would be the job of the website to communicate this. You need an upgrade.
    I appreciate that others out there are also frustrated about this. I bang my head into my desk daily!
    I think Apple is helping the world along in a very very big way. And we are going to try and do the same for web design. Actually we also have app designs on the drawing board for later. My way of thinking about this is radically different than what's out there, so I think we must try and get it out there and see how people respond.

    iRiot !

    ----------

    Ha ha. Yeah I got the fact that it was just a suggestion and not really a guess on the name of the site or anything, but you got it from Topic Related Object Navigation, which is exactly where our name comes from. I spent 8 years thinking about web design, but it's really the last 1,5 years that something started to click for me. I began understanding the basics of exactly what was wrong and what could make it right. Now I can take apart any website and put it back together in accordance to "TRON".

    It has become a passion for me to develop easier solutions. I'm sure the 'professionals' will scuff at us, but I'm betting that the users will respond to 'easy' 'overview'. So we'll have to try and do our best.

    I hope this new philosophy will eventually bring about an entirely different experience on the internet. We are going to contact government [sites] also and show them how their site could be made much more logical to navigate.
     
  16. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #16
    I got your PM. I don't think linking in this type of context would be against the rules but that's up to you.

    Anyways, I like your concept. You're definitely spot on when it comes to simplifying the navigation and hierarchy and I like the concept of your interface. It feels like something that would be very intuitive and friendly on touch devices, which is where much of the web is going now.

    I think it's really got some potential but I think it would benefit big time from being made responsive.

    I think we're starting to see a shift back towards simpler designs, navigation, and content/page hierarchy now with the shift to responsive design. Designers are finally starting to design more for functionality and user experience on devices rather than slicing up a psd to make a "pretty" site. Obviously, this is only starting to happen, so we've still got a long way to go.
     
  17. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502

    dan1eln1el5en

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    #17
    funny...
    http://trongui.com/

    by googling the "Topic Related Object Navigation"

    good luck to you guys, but I still have to see anything "productive" to come out of Berlin, lived there for 3 years doing start-ups and websites, met a lot of the people there. too many idealists and too many freeloaders.
    I hope this provocative comment might help you be successful
     
  18. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #18
    Being honest,

    I'd struggle to take ui or ux advice from a company whose website is built using tables.
     
  19. olup macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #19
    any reason why you chose tables over an unordered list wrapped in a nav element?
     
  20. Zab the Fab, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014

    Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #20
    Ok, thanks. Looks like someone figured out the address and posted it already.

    We appreciate your feedback. We think a difficult website is no website at all. Feel free to 'like' what you see, we can use all the help we can get to get the word out about this new way of doing things.

    We Think Different about a lot of things. One of them is responsive. We just don't see the point. I think it's very typical for 'professionals' to get excited about new technology just because it's there, so they use it just because it's possible, without asking critical questions. Making it responsive for mobile devices makes no sense to us at all. The whole point of the iPhone revolution was that no one had to, and yet there they are, all doing it anyways. But where is Apple's responsive website? They after all are the makers of the iPhone.
    Apple understands that a website is not something that transforms, but rather a solid object, so you can design and control user experience.

    But most professionals will disagree with TRONgui on this. That's ok. We are focus on the user experience, not the praise of our peers.

    I certainly hope so. we need a much easier internet!

    ----------

    We think a new way of doing website navigation is productive, and we are betting that people will respond when they experience it.

    ----------

    We believe that the reason most professionals are making poor user experiences, is because they focus more on 'trendy code' than user experiences. We don't care which code is used, we care that people get the reaction on our website, that you can see in this thread.

    ----------

    No. But there is a reason we chose to make it easy.
    What I mean is that we don't worry about how we get there, we try to focus on the user experience, so if it works in a table we just grab it. The user does not care which code was used, they care about whether or not they can find their way round the site.

    Thanks for everyones feedback. I really wanted to talk about how crappy most websites are, didn't think it was allowed to talk about your own project like this, but of course we value everyones feedback and getting a chance to make people aware.

    But seriously, back to those crappy websites. Can anyone think of THE worst example? It would be fun to see some of the horror out there. But I'm not even really just talking about "the worst", cause I really think the majority are horrible ...
     
  21. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #21
    'Trendy code' -- otherwise known as 'standards-based markup'.

    There is nothing you're doing on your landing page that couldn't be written with code that doesn't use tables.

    You seem also to be forgetting that these sites, Amazon, Tesco, eBay etc. have to cater to people running a browser from anywhere between IE6 to the most bleeding edge version of Google Chrome. The reality is that these sites cannot -- from a development and layout point of view -- be anywhere near as simplistic as you're suggesting.
     
  22. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #22
    Agreed 100%. I'm all about minimalism and functionality. Get straight to the point, make it easy to use, and don't let irrelevant crap distract people from the information they need to find.

    How does it make no sense at all? By most accounts, just about half the web is now mobile devices, and that market is only growing while desktop browsing is shrinking. I appreciate the mentality of "thinking different" (and I loved that ad campaign ;)) but taking it too far can be a detriment.

    If you really want to design the best user experience, wouldn't you want to ensure all your users got the best experience, and not just half (and declining) of them?

    When Steve got up on the stage in January 2007, "having the full web in your pocket" was catchy and a good tool to promote their new phone and technology. You could see the whole webpage and pinch and zoom around it. Fast forward 7 years now, and people have realized that's not the most convenient way to do it. Having minuscule text, having to pinch and zoom around, and needing to slide your finger back and forth constantly just to read a paragraph of text turned out to sound better in Apple's pitch than it actually works in real life. Having to pinch and zoom in is clunky, and while the full website is there, it doesn't provide a very good user experience at all. That's the entire reason why we now have responsive and adaptive design.

    I don't think this is true. Responsive design has only started within the last 2 years and most websites haven't caught up. I'd be willing to bet you'll see a responsive website from Apple sooner rather than later. They've finally realized that the whole pinching and zooming thing isn't nearly as great as the claimed, and most importantly, most users don't like it.

    During this summer's WWDC, Apple ran one of their workshops specifically on responsive design. You can watch the video here:

    https://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2014/#517-video

    The fact that they're now not just acknowledging it, but supporting it and actively teaching participants in their developer conference about it indicates they see the web going in this direction.

    You should care about the code. Just because many developers make crappy user experiences following standards doesn't mean you shouldn't be using standards. They're standards for a reason and coding to the current standards is independent of the design and actual visual user experience.

    There's so many devices out there that browse the internet now that not following the standards will detriment your product. What happens when someone tries to visit your site on a screenreader? Without the correct standardized markup, your site simply won't work on that screen reader, and that visitor will never be able to find the information they were seeking. That's just one example, but it's a perfect example to show why following standards is critical to making sure your users get the best experience possible regardless of what device they visit your site on.

    Standards are also critical for cross-browser compatibility and search engine optimization.


    Don't take my post the wrong way. It's a bit critical but I'm just trying to offer my best advice on how to improve your product. I like the visual concept of your site and your drive to keep it as simple and user friendly as possible, but I think in order to make it practical and usable in the real world, these are some things you need to consider. User experience is one of the most critical parts of a website, but with the way the web is now with all the different devices that use it, that user experience needs to work well device classes, not just one.
     
  23. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

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    #23
    We don't care if 'Tables are out of fasion'. We care about what the user experience is. If Tables takes the experience where we wanna take it, we use tables. The user does't care if we use tables or divs or spans, they care about the ease of use. If web designers had the same priorities, the internet would look a lot different.

    This is basically our mission, and we expect a lot of scuffing as is always the case.
    And vise versa.

    Ok, that reminds me of the quote:"I've been fuxxxxx busy ...and vise versa"

    [/quote]
    Do they?
    That has to make things difficult. I'm glad we don't have to.

    When we launch our 'social shop', it will be like nothing you have ever seen before. It will be easy.

    We don't use advanced technology, but we do use an entirely different methodology when we do the basic structuring of the site. As an example we think even Apple.com got it fundamentally wrong ...and yes ...we told them. But except from the reaction from the first few employees that saw our proposal as it went up the chain of command, who reacted by passing it along with big letters and exclamation points in the email subject text, we don't know what happened to it further up the chain. But we did notice that a few short months later 'something happened' on their support page. They either got the same idea, or found free inspiration in their inbox. I was prepared to give it to them for free, just to boost Apple's business. So far I have not heard anything back. I hope to wake up one morning with a completely redesigned Apple.com and yes, I do mean 'redesigned' completely from the ground up. The first thing we did was to throw away the menu. The rest you'll have to imagine.

    The reason why I'm passionate about our mission, is that I honestly still to this day can't figure out how to use eBay. I just give up before I get to that point. I feel insulted that they went to such great effort to make it as confusing as possible.
    Now, that might make me a retard on Amazon, but it just might also make me the perfect guy to make an easier alternative, out of pure necessity.

    In the end the users will decide, not the web designers.
     
  24. Zab the Fab thread starter macrumors member

    Zab the Fab

    Joined:
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    #24
    Agreed. The trick is how to do it. We've actually been able to develop almost a mathematical method of breaking apart any website and making it, what we call "TRONgui".
    Now we are basically gonna make versions of as many web apps out there as we can find time for. A new forum, blog, wikipedia, social shop (ie eBay), city portals, government portals and the list goes on. We want to offer alternatives to most everything that's out there. We believe very strongly that most of it is fundamentally wrong, all the way at it's roots.
    I don't want to get in to the details and reveal what we have identified as 'where it all goes wrong' but rather just build the products and put them out there.

    My answer to your questions here, was already provided in the part you left out when you quoted me.

    I think it's web designers who seem to agree this is not the easiest way to do it. Except I prefer it by far personally. And if someone want's to think Apple doesn't have responsive designers employed, as a reason why they don't have a responsive website, well. We certainly feel different about it, and it appears to me that Apple does too.
    Like I said, we expect most designers to disagree with us on most of what we do, but we also expect the users to react positively to a TRONgui experience.

    So this is where we are placing our bets, others can make their own. And then time will tell.

    TRONgui a mission from God to change the internet as we know it. It will break us or make us. Buckle up!

    Thanks for the link. I watched some of it, but I got bored pretty fast. We are not going to make websites into a 'transformer movie'. We feel a website is a solid object, much like an app on a computer, and it's our job to put days and days of effort into just the structure of the navigation.

    We basically feel that the designers haven't even figured out what structuring means. They think it's A, we're betting it's B.

    We can take apart any website and structure it completely different. It's become a process for us, a methodology that is very very different than what's out there right now.

    In the end it will be the users who decides if we are right or wrong. We have already placed our bets. Time will tell.

    We care first about the user experience, and second about the code.
    And we think the users do too. If the web designers out there did also, the internet would look every different than today.

    We want to change this.

    We first make sure that the majority of users will have the best possible user experience, and second that the minority will also get the same experience. It seems that most designers care more about whether or not Tables are old fasioned, than the user experience.

    I think our products can be improved quite a lot actually, in terms of code. It's just not our first priority, and you gotta start somewhere.

    We began with the user experience.
     
  25. mr.datsun, Jul 17, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014

    mr.datsun macrumors member

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    #25
    'TRONgui a mission from God' ???

    I would leave God out of it. Certainly would exclude me from consulting you, if you mean it.

    Looked at your site. Hard to see the implications of your design philosophy from that alone. A real-world application might break it or certainly put it to the test. I know that the purest of intentions cannot always stand up to the needs and demands of an actual client. But good luck with it.
     

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