Design Development

A problem with the web

AHHHHHH!Scripting News: “I just want to read the news, not be impressed by your programming prowess, or compliance with the latest Silicon Valley fad.”

This is one of the things that bugs me most about web user interfaces. There is zero consistency. Something we all talk about on platforms is consistency; Mac OSX apps should look and feel like Mac apps, Windows apps should look and feel like Windows apps. What about the web? On the web it’s “trend of the moment” thrown together in some stylish way.

At best the web is inconsistent. At worst it’s a complete UI/UX mess.

Strange isn’t it? You work for years to make sure your desktop apps remain consistent with the platform and now it’s a no holds barred race to the bottom.

Of course most people will disagree with me because they’re doing websites and that’s fine. This is just one curmudgeon’s opinion.

By Rob Fahrni

Husband / Father / Developer

2 replies on “A problem with the web”

I agree with you, Rob (and I “do” websites), but it’s not as simple as comparing OSX to Windows; even within each of those, there are plenty of examples of apps that don’t conform.

It’s much easier to define consistency when you start with defined parameters. But the web isn’t so confined (which leads to much quicker turnover of ideas and attempts at “getting it right”). That’s the lure of it, right – that *anyone* can create, and help shape what all of this looks like? That hope doesn’t exist on my desktop until I fire up my browser.

To compare it to food (as I like to do), it’s like inviting you to cook – if I pull you into my kitchen, you can get creative, but you’re limited to what’s in my fridge or in my gadget collection. If I let you define that environment, you’re likely to create something different – and something far less consistent with what others would create in similar circumstances.

So how do we define consistency?


I don’t think there is an answer for the web. There are probably some things web developers can do to make things better, and maybe you’re right, maybe you can’t control the web. Maybe we shouldn’t try.

Comments are closed.