Design epic fail

web design clip art

Today I spent the day at The Royal Adelaide Show. I am deliberately not providing a link to their website, because the website commits what I think is a design epic fail. The website has an autoplay video, a video that plays automatically when you arrive on the website.  To make it just that little bit worse the autoplay video culprit has a really annoying jingle.

Autoplay videos are bad for a lot of reasons:

  • They are very annoying if you are multitasking on your computer, maybe watching a dvd or listening to music
  • They can suck up bandwidth, not everyone has ADSL2 or cable and a big download quota
  • The audio of the video will clash with the audio of a screen reader being used by a person who is blind or has an vision impairment 
  • They distract from the content people have actually come to the website to view
  • They breach international accessibility website design standards

A few months ago I visited the South Australian Gridiron Association website and they had an autoplay video. I used the ‘Contact Us’ form on the website and pointed out their video was annoying.  To their absolute credit I got an email within 24 hours thanking me for contacting them and telling me they would make the necessary changes, and they have. 

I contacted The Royal Adelaide Show via their website and have not heard anything, which given the resources at their disposal is shameful. Even if they disagreed with my comment, they should have been polite enough to reply.  If you are the administrator of a website and someone takes the time to send you a message about your website, please be polite enough to reply. You don’t have to agree with the comment, you don’t have to do what you are asked but please Dear Reader be polite enough to acknowledge someone took the time to give you some feedback. 

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