Damn your cookies

8 March, 2007

I browse hardcore. By which I mean: images off, and various other options to Disable or Prompt. I guess I’m still stuck in the dark ages, when bandwidth and filesize had real value. I’ve also found that pages load a lot faster when you don’t need images, and I get to miss a lot of advertising, including animated banners.

Unfortunately many web designers are lazy or careless. Some site don’t use ALT text for any of their images, which is a hassle if I have to click any image links (and sites without ALT text always have image links).

More common is “cookie bloat”. I have temp cookies set to Enable, and permanent cookies set to Prompt, and I’ve noticed that some sites attempt to pump half a dozen or more cookies onto my system each time I visit. Why does Amazon want to give me permanent cookies each time I visit, when it already recognises my PC and remembers my viewing choices?

Amazon is also one of several sites who build their pages too wide for my display (this is a recent problem relating to a redesign). I realise that 1024×768 is pretty much default nowadays, but since I don’t work with graphics I don’t need/want a big monitor, nor do I want a miniscule, unreadable display. 800×600 is best for me, and web designers have no good reason to force their ideal proportions onto me.

So if you’re a web designer or you’re paying one, consider these issues and emphasise them as showing not only concern for “non-standard” internet users, but as evidence of general conscientiousness and attention to detail.

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