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ethical-and-user-friendly-web-design-practices

A list of practices that are irritating to the end-user and less irritating alternatives.

Goals of this project

My primary goal for this project is to find a middle ground between the wants of website owners, advertisers and end users. The list is very rough at the moment, but I plan to keep adding things that irritate me and others. Many things on this list might be opinionated. If you disagree with something said, please make an issue and explain why you disagree.

Contributions to the list via PRs and issues are encouraged!

Cookies messages

Place a cookies message at the very top of the page.
Do not obstruct content.
Do not attempt to deceive the user into accepting cookies, describe exactly what they are and what they do.
Link to your privacy policy on the cookies banner.

Tracking

Allow the user to decide if tracking is enabled, perhaps in the same banner as a cookies message.
Obey doNotTrack
Sidenote: Many browsers have doNotTrack enabled by default. If you still wish to collect data, ask the user for consent first.
Ask users for consent to tracking systems that provide information to third parties.
Do not use social media share buttons, design your own or have them load only after the user presses share.

Advertisements

Do not use advertisements that pretend to be recommended articles.
Do not use advertisements that pretend to be a download button.
Do not use advertisements that mimic site content.
Do not use popup or pop-under advertisements.
Do not prevent users with ad-blockers from using your website. Instead, provide an alternative such as a donation link or simply recommending the user to whitelist your site. Do not use full screen popups for this. You can add a message that promises your website does not use obtrusive advertisements.

Intrusive Prompts

Do not use newsletter prompts, which can turn users away from the site and cause an unhealthy bounce rate. Leave newsletter forms elsewhere on the page.
Do not use popups when a user leaves a page. This is commonly used to hijack browsers, and can get the website blacklisted.
Do not force unnecessary logins. Although it may increase the conversion rate, the high bounce rate usually offsets it.

// TODO: Manipulative ways of advertisement (cough Bandcamp cough)

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