Speaking of respecting users... · 2006-08-20 23:36 by Wladimir Palant
When you go to Adblock’s (not Adblock Plus) web site — what strikes you most? Is it MozDev’s cool design? Or is it the great description of things you can do with Adblock? I bet that’s not what you notice. I am almost sure that you stare at the text and swear: “Who the hell put grey text on white background? How are we supposed to read this?”
Well, maybe this is only something the developers (meaning rue) did not notice yet, despite the site being like this for over 2 years now. They probably did not notice numerous threads in their forum either:
- Please make text on webpage black (February 2004)
- Comments regarding the Adblock web site (March 2004)
- Home Page Font Contrast (April 2004)
- Adblock website (Mai 2004)
- http://adblock.mozdev.org/ site (June 2004)
- The Grey Look (July 2004)
- ADBLOCK SUGGESTIONS!! (August 2004)
- Site Contrast (September 2004)
- Website color scheme => headache (October 2004)
- Webpage colours. (October 2004)
- Please change the font color on the Adblock website. (November 2004)
- Adblock Extension Website is Difficult to Read (January 2005)
- home site is almost unreadable (March 2005)
- This site only displays properly in Internet Explorer (March 2005)
- PLEASE I beg you, change the front page style (April 2005)
- Home page written in pale ink? (June 2005)
- Light grey on white is almost unreadable (September 2005)
- Adblock website (aka Feature request: readable website (December 2005)
- Adblock Site Contrast (August 2006)
Wow, that’s probably the most frequently requested feature on the Adblock forum. But why would anybody read his own project forum anyway? I found two quotes in these topics that I quite liked:
It's a neat trick to keep the userbase small. (c) rue (Developer)
rue is blind and his screenreader doesnt support colours (c) Guest
So, what’s the real story behind this grey text? The official explanation (see second link): rue didn’t like the MozDev style so he “improved” it. It’s only too bad that his “improvement” didn’t work on anything other than a Mac screen. But since rue himself is using a Mac he doesn’t care.
I heard a slightly different version of the story when I talked to rue last December. Being not aware of the forum threads I mentioned this homepage issue to him again. The answer was something along the lines of “nobody cares since nobody reads this geeky page, everybody only downloads the extension and basta”. And then there was something about “back when Adblock only had 10 users this was a funny thing to do, just to prove the point that nobody cared”.
Well, Adblock’s popularity has exploded since then. Much of this popularity must be credited to addons.mozilla.org that didn’t follow rue’s web design style. But the disrespect for the user is still blatant, and this is only one small example. I wonder — how many people would use Adblock today if they had to download it from the official homepage?
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