The Web Development Pet Peeves of Twitter Users

A couple of months ago, I asked my Twitter buddies what their web development pet peeves were. Here are the results.

  • Jeffrey Zeldman

    Jeffrey Zeldman

    13-year-old arguments (e.g. liquid vs. fixed width) that will never be resolved because the right answer is, it depends on the project.

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  • Eric Meyer

    Eric Meyer

    It’s when CSS is written with all classes, no descendant selectors. Close 2nd: presentational class names.

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  • Jeff Croft

    Jeff Croft

    I would say my biggest pet peeve related to the industry would be people focusing on technology instead of design, standards instead of users, and validation rather than innovation. Web standards and best practices are noble goals, but all too often in our community people forget they are a means to an end, not the end itself.

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  • Jonathan Snook

    Jonathan Snook

    Other people using CSS resets and not fixing what it breaks. I like list items to have bullets and :focus to have outline, tyvm

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  • Collis Taeed

    Collis Taeed

    My pet peeve has to be lack of space around text in web designs. Text needs space, it needs space between lines of copy and it needs space away from other things (edges of boxes, lines etc). When I see text really close to the edges of a box or closely spaced together, it makes me want to contact the site and tell them I’ll do some fixes for them. I have to restrain myself :-)

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    • Chris Coyier: I hate how [disabled="false"] on a form input still renders it disabled. You have to remove the attribute entirely to enable.
    • erikreagan: pet peeve: clients assuming certain tasks are “quick and easy” as though they know how to develop for the web
    • jcasabona: When a file is not properly formatted (tabbed). Oh, and using Table based layouts.
    • rushiv: Table based layouts, improper code structure (indents, quote usages & such)
    • geminipinai: Not using comments in between several long lines of code!
    • mrichman: that’s easy…i work with a designer who ONLY outputs HTML 4 tables with BOTH inline styles and some (poor) CSS.
    • RyanDownie: my pet peve is firebug not being able to save styles
    • PaulGendek: Having to retry connecting to a site in Coda, sometimes restarting – only to save once before the connection fails again. :/
    • brandonburke: surely already covered, but “Can you make my logo bigger?” when it is already big enough is a pet peeve of mine.
    • mattyc: web dev pet peeve? can i say internet explorer?
    • frankieshakes: pet peeve: maintaining other devs’ code that just happens to have ZERO comments.
    • csskarma: people who use huge javascript libraries and then complain that a css reset file is too much css
    • sigmawebdesign: Biggest Pet Peeve: Music that automatically playes when landing at a site’s home page, either from ads or content.
    • pointlessramble: if you get this, mine is the client who wants everything for nothing
    • danjordan: my pet peeve is clients and them not knowing what they want, but knowing exactly what they dont want.
    • eatfoss: 3rd and last peeve: having to recode parts of a site just to make it work in IE. Then recoding again for earlier versions!
    • richardCarter: not really a dev thing, but people not marking which div they’re closing (e.g. </div><!–/wrapper–> to end #wrapper)

    What’s yours?


    • Masey says:

      IE. IE. IE. No brainer.

    • Christian Mejia says:

      My pet peeve is doing mostly everything listed above in my own design. Ahhh! I need a good teacher. Any volunteers!

    • aebsr says:

      the debate between pixels and ems, discussion on ideal page width.

    • Sean says:

      RyanDownie: my pet peve is firebug not being able to save styles

      Firebug CAN save styles. After making changes, click on the CSS tab, select the stylesheet you changed, Control + A, switch to text editor, Control + V.

    • chad says:

      @Sean – You do realize that would be you saving the stylesheet and not firebug.

    • taotsu-pro says:

      customers and users! how beautiful would be the net without any users ^-^
      well… ok, mobile development.. i miss floats in XHTML MP!!! thats a real catastrophe! well and just working on it: changing a tablebased html 4.0 design to a tableless xhtml 1.0 (i wish i could serve xml ….), thats just depressing. more and more every day!

    • Ryan Downie says:

      @Sean I know this and thats what I do currently, I use firebug an awful lot as I like to see what I am doing on the fly.

      Why I want to save it directly as it saves time in the long run then switching applications and it also re-organizes the structure of the css.

      I would love firebug to be able to do what the web developer toolbar can. Load and save stylesheets and also be able to create rules quickly.

    • mike t. says:

      @Sean – And it also copies in which stylesheet the selector appears, and the line number–which requires more manual work.

      body {style.css (line 11)
      background:#3A362F url(images/header_slice.jpg) repeat-x scroll 0 0;

    • Joseph Levin says:

      U understand these following peeves are not about web design, per se, but about those that receive it-

      Pet Peeve #1: Clients who do not pay or do not pay fully (despite their saying the love everything you’ve done for them, are very happy with the work, etc.).

      Pet Peeve #2; Clients, after putting major amounts of pressure on me to finish a website’s design/coding/structure by what appears afterward to be an arbitrary date (and I *do* finish, well beforehand), who go many months (or years!) before providing any of the actual *content* for the site. So the site sits in limbo….

      Pet Peeve #3: Clients who roundly declare they love and will adopt the “final” design (months in the making, perhaps), then have second thoughts when 1 random person (usually a relative) decides he/she doesn’t like something about the design. Then the Client wants to subject a series of redesigns to a committee’s whim. And then finally decides the committee’s opinions don’t count…. !!!!

    • mawkbagawk says: not
      my pet peve is that people don’t see beyond the .com and get the most ridiculous domain names, as lond as they are .com

    • Kim H says:

      I have three – a lack of care for design, when links to new sites don’t automatically open in a new tab or window (yes yes, I realize most people hate this function when it does work), and, as Jeff Croft has said, a lack of innovation.

      Mostly the first one; I’ve run into one or two designers who simply, well.. Hated design. I didn’t understand it – why are you in this field if you hate it? It simply irritated me that they would receive projects and I did not.

    • Sarah Bray says:

      Yep, IE. I have hope for IE 8, but man. C’mon. I wonder what they spend all of their money on.

    • rpflo says:

      Bad usability in general (programmers without interface design skills, or not hiring somebody with them), but more specifically tooltips that get in the way.

      i.e. Like, you mouseover a hotel in the results list to get more info on it (like address) and the tool tip is so large it covers up two entries below it, so I have wrap my mouse around the tool tip and then enter the next item from the side!

      Or people who have been developing on the web for 15 years and still can’t make a web app work outside of IE.

    • Arthur Brown says:

      I have high hopes that IE 6 users will one day advance to IE 7 users. I am tired of hacks for things to work in IE6 that work without them in most of the more modern browsers.

    • rick says:

      Contextualizing an app built from another culture to work with people in my culture.

    • Paul Gendek says:

      Since Coda 1.6 has just recently been released, I would like to retract my pet peeve and bitch about IE6 instead.

    • Rob Mason says:

      Websites that only work properly in IE. Still see far too much of this around, particularly in the corporate world.

    • Myke Cave says:

      You know whats funny is that I could have guessed that would have been Collis’s pet peeve. His designs are always very elegantly well spaced and open.

      But I have to agree most with erikreagan’s pet peeve. I scream on the inside when a client says something should be quick and easy. If it was quick and easy they wouldn’t be hiring me to do it for them now would they?

    • sivas says:

      Thank you,