Web Applications

Volume 9, Issue 57; 06 Jun 2006; last modified 08 Oct 2010

I think web applications are great, but usually what I want from your site is information, pure and simple.

I think web applications are great. I'm happy to use interactive maps and calendars and things. But 99% of the time, what I want from the web is information. And for that, I don't need interactivity or, for crying out loud, animated advertising. Peter Flynn nails it:

[…] “richer, more fulfilling browser experiences” like the majority of marketing bloatware are just a waste of my time and everyone else's. I just want the information, you muppet, as fast and accurately as possible, and without having to upgrade my OS or reinstall half a dozen sad-ass bells and whistles like Flash.

Speaking of Flash, you want FlashBlock. What a relief. Oh, and hey, if I go to your website and it's littered with little FlashBlock “play” icons and nearly devoid of useful content, there's a really high probability that I'll leave and never come back.


You also want NoScript

—Posted by Gregor J. Rothfuss on 06 Jun 2006 @ 02:40 UTC #

I couldn't agree more. Further, I wish that sites would give me back my data in a useful format, as well.

—Posted by rich campoamor on 06 Jun 2006 @ 03:37 UTC #

This sounds a bit narrow minded. Not everyone thinks like that, say the common teen who loves shining and blinking stuff.


—Posted by Sylvain on 06 Jun 2006 @ 05:33 UTC #

*Shrug* I'm an old codger in Internet Years. In fairness, I don't think I'm narrow minded (but I wouldn't, would I?). Shiny and blinky have their place, but so do crisp and clear without intrusive and distracting.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 06 Jun 2006 @ 05:52 UTC #

Allright. I've been a little harsh. Let's say that I don't believe the web has to be a way or an other. Even though, in the end, I entirely agree on how annoying those things are.

—Posted by Sylvain on 06 Jun 2006 @ 08:36 UTC #

So what's the difference between data and information?

In other words, I think sometimes you need some interactivity to get information out of your data...

—Posted by Morten Frederiksen on 06 Jun 2006 @ 09:50 UTC #

There's a lot to be said for not having Flash installed at all. The licence conditions are, to me, unacceptable. (You did read the conditions, didn't you? They say Macromedia can audit your use of the product. I don't know what "audit" here means so I don't see how I can be sure it wouldn't risk compromising any NDA's I might have made). It's a pity some sites require Flash but there we go.

—Posted by Ed Davies on 07 Jun 2006 @ 12:01 UTC #

I think you need to draw a distinction between "interactivity" and "information design". A properly presented piece of information is a hundred times more "comprehensible" than a poorly presented one.

Agreed that Flash is often abused, but on the other extreme, what you might consider of the utmost simplicity, the layout and formatting of your site here, I find terribly cumbersome and hard to extract information from... (no distinction of what is what, etc)

Just saying ;)

For every job, it's proper tool, used appropriately. Your beef is not with Flash, your beef is with marketing. Know how to pick you fights. ;D

—Posted by Boris Anthony on 09 Jun 2006 @ 09:25 UTC #