What makes a good site?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : I'd Rather Eat Glass : One Thread

Kind of a companion to the Diarist.net awards thread, what makes a site good or bad in your eyes? In mine, it needs to "work" in all browsers, at all resolutions. Don't take forever to load - If I have time to get a piece of pizza, make a milkshake, go to the bathroom, and I come back and it's still freaking loading, you can count on me not going back to that site. Don't type using sporadically placed caps, don't spell "people" as "ppl" or call them "peeps". Don't use "z" instead of "s". There are exceptions to everything, of course, but still. The big ones are the browsers, resolution, and loading time. And no midis! Ever. I don't care how "cute" it is. Just say no.

Anyone else?


-- Anonymous, May 13, 2000


I don't mind the ocassional long loading time. I don't really care about design unless it just doesn't work and I crash or something. What I want is a sense of realness, passion, humor, fear, quirkiness...and ugliness that touches their lives. I want to see how the author's mind works. I want a glimpse of who they really are - neurotic tendencies and all, not just the persona. I'm more attracted to those journals that are funny, but a good rant or a good crisis to be shared with all of us is something I'll come back for as well. Ok. And sex. If there's sex, I'm there. (Believe me, I know how sick I am) What I hate is constant chatter about work or tv or music. A little is great, but if that's all there is to a journal, I'm out of there.

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2000

If I have to highlight text to see it over the horrendous background image, I'm out of there. If I have to turn off a midi, I'm out of there. If I have to sit and wait for 900 entries on one page to load, I'm out of there. If there are no paragraph breaks of any kind, I'm out of there. If I have to scroll to the right to see the entire entry, I'm out of there. If the text is so small that I have to lean forward to read it, I'm out of there. If I see images that are most obviously not part of public domain integrated into the title graphics, I'm out of there. If all I get is a laundry list of what someone did that day, I'm out of there.

Other than that, I can tolerate a lot, if there's something worth reading. Those, however, are my breaking points.

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2000

I agree with everything listed so far, especially the tiny font that my poor, old nearsighted eyes can't read. That just irritates the hell out of my tired old ass. I'm also not thrilled about a site that has a zillion pages that I have to click through to get to an entry and you know what else I really hate? Entries that don't have links to the previous and next entries. I love a clean, simple design that's easy to navigate. I think that just about every journal I read regularly has a good design. I'll even wait a little while longer for an entry to download as long as it's clean and well organized. Am I anal retentive or what?

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2000

I don't like anyone's journal at all. Except mine. But seriously... I like a background that doesn't take away from what you are reading. I like a site that I can find what I am looking for with out the need of a road map, flares and a weeks worth of rations. Personally I don't like having to wait for banners, or counters or whatever to load. Mo's journal is bad about that, but I put up with it, because I like her journal. I like colours that don't make my head feel like it's going to explode. I like simple, fast loading sites with good honest heartfelt content. It doesn't have to be a tear jerker, it just needs to be the truth, no matter how insane it may make the writer sound. If it's funny from time to time, that's a bonus. I don't like journals that are there just to try and be popular. I don't like journals that praise and revel in how popular they are. Basically the "Look at me! Look at how great I am! I am so cool!" it get's old real fast. This isn't to say that I don't like the occassional, "Wow, I did something that I think was really great today." or "I'm proud of standing up for myself," or those sort of things. They show growth, which is something that they should be proud of. But I don't have any interest in reading a journal that makes me feel like I am being talked down to, or any journal that uses it's status to put down other journal writers for their beliefs.

-- Anonymous, May 15, 2000

The sites I go back to are the ones that make me feel comfortable and not the computer hating dork I am. Comfort doesn't necessarily translate directly from "safe" content, but more ease of movement and like Sasha said, a sense of continuity. I got so spoiled using the computers at my university..and now that I am in the real world again, loading time is a definite factor. If it looks like it's going to take more than 30 seconds to load a page I'm reading for fun...My mouse goes directly to stop/back and I am not interested. No patience. I think the other main thing that makes a site good is having the craft portion hidden...A site shouldn't scream "Hi I just bought photoshop and I am going to prove it to you by uploading all these images and I just came across this site and so now I have all these little animated things and by the way read my dissertation on how much better my work in progress site is now that I am using all these way cool new programs...." blegh. I'd rather become immersed in a site the same way I can be immersed in a good book. If you have to spend time wrestling with the packaging, you won't have the time to deal with the content. The site should make it look like it's easy, without telling you flat out that it is. This is what really makes a site beautiful in my mind.

And unless there is a good reason, yellow text on a Key lime pie green background should be banned to the farthest corners of hell.

-- Anonymous, May 16, 2000

You're certainly right about double-checking the readability of your chosen type font and color on your chosen background. I made a bad background choice on http://geocities.com/ornerypest/Morals.html and ended up just changing all the type to Bold to make it readable but I think I will probably end up looking for a better background.

-- Anonymous, May 17, 2000

dark blue/green writing on black backgrounds. just say no.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ