August 23, 2007 4:33 pm

Web Trends I Dislike

These things bother me and I feel compelled to mention them.

  • Using “colophon” instead of “about”
    There’s just something about this that irks me. It’s a book-based idea, and is generally a short blurb that describes relevant edition notes. If this section were used like an actual book colophon to describe typography, the company, kind of code, accessibility features, etc. I might not have as much of an issue with it, but it seems like more often than not people are flat-out using it in place of an “About” page like they’re very clever. I’d imagine a website colophon could be useful, but in addition to an “about the author” page, not in place of it.
  • Giant RSS icons
    I like icons, I like RSS, and I like oversized visual elements, but ye gods I have seen some giant RSS buttons. We get that you want people to subscribe. Please do not attack us with your giant, shiny, orange buttons. Particularly offensive are the ones that are not only giant, orange, and shiny, but also 3D-esque like they are looming over you. Scary! I am always curious about people that use that as their main design element.
  • Eleventy-hundred social networking links on every post
    Seriously. How many options do you need? Especially if your blog is not particularly noteworthy? I can’t really foresee a time when I would put social networking links on my website, but if I did, I’d start with Alex King’s ShareThis plugin. It’s simple, clean, and relatively unobtrusive.

    In my admittedly short search, I didn’t come up with any examples but you know the ones. All the icons are not particularly well designed, people forget to remove the image link border, and they are lined up in two rows because there’s 20+ of them. Argh!

    09.24.07 – Edited to add: I found one! Many weeks later, of course.
    Social Network Links

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  • Julianne says:

    I agree 100 percent. The first time I saw “colophon” used that way, I thought it was kind of cool: in addition to a quick paragraph about himself, the guy had colophony details like the ones you described. But then “colophons” started cropping up all over the place, and it got annoying.

    Don’t get me started on the gigantic RSS icons… You don’t need some ginormous orange thing to prove your RSS mettle. :P

    I added the ShareThis plugin recently, pretty much on a lark. At least it’s relatively unobtrusive.

  • Claire says:

    :good: Couldn’t agree more, especially with those grotesquely ginormous RSS icons. If I want that badly to subscribe, I’ll find a way – I don’t need to be smacked over the head with fat, orange, plastic-like graphics. :mad:

  • Sabrina says:

    I admit that I don’t browse blogs enough to kvetch about gargantuan RSS icons, but it does sound irritating.

    Almost all CSS-designed sites look the same nowadays. This is a shame considering how powerful and versatile CSS is..

  • George says:

    More Flair Please!!!

  • Meagan says:


    My comment has absolutely nothing to do with this post, however, I believe it’s importance is utmost.

    We want more wedding details.

    Enough said.

  • Jamie says:

    Oh I absolutely agree. Giant RSS icons are my biggest pet peeve. If I want to subscribe to your feed, I know how. Kthx.

  • Kiera says:

    I’m just now starting to see the mutant rss icon epidemic. I was browsing through some wordpress themes where the huge icon was the main design element. Very tacky, if you ask me.

  • Sarah Kite says:

    Hey, I just voted for the honeymoon location. Having lived in Iceland for awhile, it’s tops on my recommendation, but if you go, prepare yourself for the most expensive country out there. 2 meals from McDonalds will run you about $40.

    Totally worth the money for the things you would see!

  • Melissa says:

    Oh em gee, I definitely am with you on all of these things. I admit to using “colophon” after I saw it on a site I admired like 5 years ago…but I got sick of it quickly and went back to good ol’ “about”, hehe. :D

    As for the feed icon abundance…I blame Matt Brett…ok no I don’t, I think he rocks, but yeah that big ones are annoying. Makes me feel like choosing to subscribe to someone’s blog isn’t my decision anymore… :(

    And true dat…I once had the social networking thingies on my blog as well… but I got afraid of them scaring my visitors away, hehe. The one by Alex King looks good, I would go with his plugin as well, if I decided to re-commit. :P

    Hehe…oh and that’s a tough choice on your honeymoon poll. I want to go to all those places in all those seasons and then on a cruise! XD I especially like cruises though, after going on a Disney cruise last year. Holy wow, that was the best vacation I’ve EVER had…and I’ve been to a lot of places. We just went to the Bahamas, but Disney definitely knows how to do cruises…it is in no way “just for kids”, they keep things so seperate! Was a great time! :D Definitely good luck with the decision, hehe!