Monday, June 11, 2012

We Interrupt This Huffington Post to Bring You . . .

What was old is now new, I suppose.

I've stopped clicking on any links that take me to The Huffington Post because of their sudden habit of having videos launch upon me landing on the page.

I'm not talking about me clicking to a page that's sole purpose is to present me with a video link. I'm talking about random videos that suddenly just start playing because I happen to be on a page.

Just now, I clicked to a page about a poor woman in New Zealand involved in a dental lab mix-up that led to a misdiagnosis of cancer and some rather invasive jaw surgery. As I was reading, suddenly I heard -- from somewhere; I was never able to identify the noise's location -- some campy, local TV station-like music along with a voice saying "Hi, I'm Whar Garble, and I'm a dentist . . ."

I shut the page down immediately.

I don't know if the video was related to the story at all or just a throwback to the early days of the Internet in which we had sound files that automatically launched once a page loaded or one of those stupid shadow cursor things that make navigating pages so very annoying. Yea, animated cursors and auto-play video are an abomination in my sight, and shall not be duplicated.

But am I alone in thinking such things are an abomination? I certainly can't find anyone else online complaining about the Huffington Post auto-launching video bombs into our laps. I can find this site which demonstrates how to do such an awful thing. But little about the etiquette about doing so.

The Web Design Library (ironically, in my opinion, a poorly designed site) recommends against the animated cursors and at least auto-played music, so that's something. Similar advice here (along with bad navigation. Go there; you'll see). Aaaaand the inevitable Jakob Nielsen site where the king of bad web design deigns to preach to the masses on what ought and ought not to be done. So I feel awkward offering design advice from three sites that have their own unique design problems. But it's a start. Perhaps y'all out there in Blogland can point me to better resources, eh?

(An example of how autoplay is, in the words of Al Gore, "Baaaad, Baaaaad, Reeeeeealllll Baaaaaaad!")


Roger Stott said...

Yes, yes, yes! I hate this site with a passion now and no longer follow links to it. Sometimes they load more than one video at once upon page load/refresh.

What is wrong with these people?

FedUPS said...

I completely agree. The authors at Laffington Most must never review their own articles and have no idea how useless the whole site it. I still accidentally click on links, and sometimes even try to stop the multiple videos that are playing simultaneously. It is futile, the videos don't immediately respond to the pause button and my last click is always the tab close button.

Lauren Gibson said...

I have emailed HuffPost WEEKS ago about this. Their response? "We are aware of this issue and our IT is working on it." and it has yet to be fixed. SO ANNOYING.

Lauren Gibson said...

I have emailed Huff Post weeks ago, weeks ago. probably months. Their response: we are aware of this issue and our IT people are working on it. Yet it's not on their known issues page, and it has yet to be fixed. I don't understand how this is customer friendly.