Pixel Glade

Web Manifesto

This page describes web design that I like or don't like, and how I came to make a personal site. At the end are links to other Neocities websites I personally appreciate, and articles about the current state of the web.

My Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

Social media is addictive and I cope better by avoiding it. This does not always work. Social media sucks me in before I've gotten out of bed in the morning, and my eyes are glued before sleeping. News sites can have a similar effect.

I feel tired. I'm not in control of my behaviour, my news feed, the platform, the noise, and the content makes me anxious, nervous, and obsessive. I never had this problem on the old web. The result is I hardly post content at all anymore. I met some good people there but it drives me away constantly.

There is a better web out there. I remember it from the early 2000s. I remember Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire. I reminesced on all the positive experiences I had with the early web. You are free to roam, take delight in what you find, and creativity is overflowing. You can take a walk in someone else's head without a corporate hand guiding you. When web searches had a broader range of answers than Top Ten lists.

What brought me to Neocities

I stumbled upon Neocities sites on social media. Initially it was somebody's business card, but I later found personal sites similar to the old web. The creative spirit lives on in Neocities, personal websites filled with guestbooks, fanpages, and miscellany and sundry. This is the web I love and remember, and I want to do my part in keeping it alive.

Minimal HTML/CSS Is Fast

Maybe because I live in Australia and the speed to download a webpage is slower than the rest of the world, but it is noticeable when a website uses minimal HTML or CSS. I love websites which are fast, and with some old school web design. If the content is good, you don't need anything fancy, and all the javascript that runs on modern browsers is just annoying a lot of the time and slows down websites. It would be nice if there was an option in your browser to turn off fancy javascript by default and revert to a simpler HTML version of the site if it was available.

Motion Effects Make My Brain Cry

Special effects for buttons or sliding UI elements bother me. I am sensitive to excessive motion because I have a neurologic disorder which affects eye tracking (nystagmus) and keeping my gaze fixed is pretty important for me for that reason. Any 'wipe screen' effects will usually make me leave a website pretty fast because it sometimes triggers the nystagmus and it is uncomfortable. This may be an uncommon complaint but for this reason I like mostly static webpages. Animated gifs are okay provided they sit still.

Web accessibility should be a higher priority on the web. I don't like when the webpage changes shape or layout as I scroll, like changing background colours or text colours. Some big websites are guilty of this. Please avoid this if you care about accessible sites.

I Want Answers Not Your eBook

The web is too commercial and content has become shallow. I can't find the information I want when I browse the web anymore, and it's gotten harder over the years. Keyword cramming does not help.

I do not want your newsletters, I do not like being told that I am "missing out" on your mailing list or free eBook. Get that out of my face, please, it is not why I am viewing your website. If "Join my mailing list" or "download free eBook" was in the description of a website to represent the first thing they saw nobody would visit.

Help Me Learn More About You

It is hard to get to know somebody when posts disappear in a few hours because they got buried by someone else's post. Social media is too fast for me and I can't keep up. It is designed this way. Somebody thought this was a good idea. Someone else is profiting off your content more than you are.

I have made genuine connections through social media but that does not mean the platforms are good. But if you make your own site, it belongs to you and you have control over the content, how it is displayed, and how other people see it.

If you make a personal site, it is more about you and less about the platform you are posting on.

More Creativity, Personality, and Accessibility Please

Here is a summary of some things I'd like to see more on the web: