Skip, Close, Ignore

March 27, 2024

Getting to the substance has increasingly become a chore. Years of browsing the web and using apps has trained me to skip, close, and ignore certain design characteristics that aim to steal my attention. I’m just here to read the article.

We block ads and filter out attempts to capture our email addresses. We ignore the inline thumbnails directing us to other articles before we’ve finished this one. Even complex site navigation is tuned out. Besides getting in the way, these things also devalue the substance they surround.

All this noise makes the article itself appear unimportant and worthless.

So when websites and blogs started this trend of gradually fading out paragraphs until they disappear, that pushed me over the edge. It made me feel like they didn’t want me to read the article at all.

No one likes the feeling of being baited because it implies they were susceptible to lying. Why use that tactic? It’s insulting and offensive.

I don’t know the most effective strategy to make money as a writer, but I do know that choosing to pester and trick people is not kind. It’s not friendly. It’s entirely hostile to the people who you want to read your article.

Is it not better to provide the chillest page to read?

Of course it is, which is why so many have realized they can sell the idea of a better user experience. “Sure, the public-facing product is shit, but if you give me money, it’s better. I promise.”

That turns me off so fast. That’s exactly what makes me close a browser tab.

So my strategy is just to make my website pleasant. And if people agree that it’s pleasant and want to financially support the time I spend on it, then that’s great.

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