Thursday, October 12, 2006

Myspace - The floodgates of bad design have opened

I've had a myspace account since late 2005, but never used it because most pages I'd seen looked messy, random, unsightly, like it had been designed by someone who couldn't actually see their monitor. The problem I think, lies in myspace's absolutely crap implementation of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), the code which customises the look and feel of the page, and the fact that they are still using the deprecated TABLE tag for page layout. Tables within tables within tables within tables, within... oh yeah... tables.

Loads of websites have sprung up which will generate these CSS code snippets for you, which is great for non techies, but the code generated is - for want of a better word - bollocks. It may get the job done, but you can get into some serious trouble without even knowing it. Please, if you are customising your myspace site with css code fragments, try it in more than one browser to make sure everyone who visits can actually read your site.

For example, some pages I've seen have got colour schemes that make for unreadable text. I've even seen text the same colour as the background. It seems that the code generators give out code that generally only works with Internet Explorer, and IE's implementation of CSS is not really standard (bring on IE7). Alright, fine if IE is your browser of choice, but if you use any other browser (I use Firefox, but there are others like Safari, Netscape, Opera etc), you could be wasting your time. You may be losing visitors who just can't read your page.

Other pages I've seen have got so many slideshows, mp3 players, widgets and stuff, that the page just grinds to a halt. Some pages I can't even scroll, cos my cpu rockets to 100% trying to deal with all the crap on the page. And then it gets even worse because the page owner wants to render EVERYTHING as transparent!!! WHY??????????????????

Then there's my favourite... a page where you've got a song, 2 videos, 3 slideshows, 20 animated star spangled gifs, 100 comments with animated posters, one comment that is 3 screens wide, and they are ALL PLAYING AT ONCE.

Only one thing to do... move on, save your cpu for somebody else's page that's actually had some thought put into it.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that people have got their own space to customise to their own tastes. Who am I to say it shouldn't be the way you want it? All I ask is that you give it some thought when you add something to your page.

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