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The 5 Most Embarrassing Internet Trends (and Way to Fix Them)

On the internet, there’s a lot to like, but it’s not all positive. Trends have emerged in the decades since the World Wide Web became ubiquitous, making it a more frustrating place to visit.

Let’s take a look at some of the worst online trends today, as well as how to effectively remedy them (when possible)

1. Obtrusive and time-consuming Cookie Consent Notices

Cookies are a common feature of the internet and are essential for the operation of many websites. However, due to the extensive use of third-party cookies that follow your browsing around the internet, numerous government bodies have enacted legislation that limits how firms can use your information.

You’ll now see a message on practically every website you visit asking for permission to use cookies, thanks to legislation like the EU’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. While it’s nice to have an option, seeing these messages on every site rather than being able to set a global preference in your browser is inconvenient.

Even worse, many of these poorly designed websites’ cookie consent forms is quite frustrating. Accept All or Customize are two options offered by many. When you click Customize, you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll have to click each non-essential cookie one by one, which is laborious.

You should be able to just click Reject All and go on from any website. A black pattern online is forcing the user to spend extra time in order to avoid from monitoring.

2. Videos that start playing on their own

Sites all over the internet determined that videos that start without your interaction were the way of the future at some point. Not only do many websites now have auto-playing video advertising, but many also begin playing their own videos in a mini-player as soon as you arrive on a page. This is also done by mobile apps that provide video previews, such as YouTube and the App Store.

Auto-playing videos are bothersome for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is their sound. They can be distracting if you’re working in a quiet area and haven’t muted your computer, and they’ll blast into your ears if you’re wearing headphones. You would start the video yourself if you wanted to see it. Videos consume a lot of bandwidth and can put a strain on your CPU.

Firefox, thankfully, allows you to disable auto-playing movies. You can adjust a site’s permissions in Chrome to at least silence its sound, but you’ll need to utilize a Chrome extension to completely disable auto-playing video.

3. CAPTCHAs that aren’t working

CAPTCHAs protect websites from bots that leave spam comments, make mass purchases in order to scalp, and other similar harmful actions. Besides, CAPTCHAs, while designed to allow humans through while blocking bots, can be a chore for individuals to complete.

The most common version of reCAPTCHA on the web, Google’s, will often let you pass only by clicking an I’m not a robot box. This program examines features of your mouse behavior and browser information to determine whether or not you are a real person. However, this check may fail at times, requiring you to complete the entire CAPTCHA.

Typically, this entails picking all squares with a bus, traffic light, or other common object. However, due to unclear visuals, they can be difficult to decipher in some circumstances. In some cases, the object you need to click will surround by a few pixels in another area. It’s unclear if you should click these or not, and if you do, you’ll have to repeat the CAPTCHA.

To remain ahead of more sophisticated bots, CAPTCHAs must improve over time. However, when they’re so inconvenient to complete, they become another another barrier to utilizing the internet. There’s no viable way to get around them other than using browser extensions like Buster.

4. Create a list of split articles across multiple pages.

You’ve probably clicked on a list-style article only to be disappointed when you learn the list isn’t properly set out on one page. Instead, you must click and open a new page for each item in the list. Instead, the products could be strewn across an obnoxious carousel layout that requires you to locate the minuscule Next button, which is more worse.

List authors on websites should refrain from placing lists across many pages in this manner. It’s obvious that this design is to maximize ad revenue because you have to navigate through 10+ pages instead of staying on one, but it’s inconvenient and will drive visitors away.

Some websites provide a link that says “View this content on a single page,” however this isn’t always the case.

5. Websites that obstruct normal browser functionality

While each website is unique, you expect your browser to act consistently across all pages. However, some websites are particularly nefarious, changing browser elements that should always be consistent.

Many websites, for example, utilize deception to take control of your browser’s Back button. Instead of returning you to Google to check another result, pressing Back returns you to a bogus history item and keeps you on the current page.

Thankfully, most websites have abandoned these strategies (or browsers have updated to combat them). They should avoid legitimate websites because they degrade the user experience, but you never know what clever developers will come up with next.

Source: website builder

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