Mobile web design: The reign of morons, indeed.

If you are Esquire's web designer, please find another career.

Stop. Stop hurting the internet.

I am still constantly amazed at the level user-hostility -- actually outright contempt -- in mobile web design. Remember in the 90s when those oh-so-clever web sites would pop up little Javascript dialogs trying to better "engage" you, and it was about as pleasant as having a little hammer pop up and whack you in the face every time you clicked their link? Try reading any "respectable" "news" "media" web site on a tablet and feel the nostalgia.

It seems like every time I click on an article that one of my acquaintances posts on Facebook, I have to go through this kind of dance. Esquire is a particularly egregious example of it, but this is so common.

Here's how the dance goes, when reading on an iPad: I click on a link to an article I think I might want to read. The page shows up, and almost the entire page is bullshit: there's always a huge banner, the right half of the page is ads, and the article is crammed into the bottom left quarter of the screen -- below a marginally-related stock photo (bitches love stock photos). If you consider that stock photo to be relevant, that's 20% or 25% of the screen being devoted to the article itself. The rest of it is useless bullshit.

If you consider that photo to also be useless bullshit, then there's like 1% of the screen being used for actual writing. I can only see part of one sentence of it. The entire article is below the fold.

It almost suggests that the article isn't the part they care about. Why I never.

Also the fonts are tiny. I assume not because they think anyone actually wants to read at that size, but because they have a lot of useless bullshit they have to fit in.

But that's old news. Here's where it goes Web Two Dot Doh:

Fortunately, the iPad makes at least the initial phase of this nonsense easy to deal with: habitually, the first thing I do after clicking a link is to double-tap on what I can see of the actual writing, zooming in. (You have probably been trained by the advertisers to call this "content". I use the older word, I call it "writing".)

Except then, a few seconds later, after I've had time to read possibly an entire sentence, the rest of their bullshit Javascript wakes up and continues running, and in comes the full-screen pop-over! Prepare your anus!

And here's the beauty: because I'm already zoomed in, there's no close box. Apparently I can't even scroll far enough to the right to find the close box. There's literally no way to get back to the article I had just begun reading seconds before.

What happens if you click anywhere else in the ad that I can't even see all of? Does it dismiss it? No, it launches the App Store application, presumably trying to get me to go download their custom app. Which is undoubtedly just a wrapper around a WebKit view of this exact same web site, except with more surveillance built in.

When this happens, I can't reach for the various close boxes and back buttons fast enough.

And, to be clear, I then never read the article. Because I know that whatever they have to say will be said better by someone else who isn't such an asshole.

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