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    And? I don’t see anyone complaining that most desktop applications use mostly the menu layouts and keyboard shortcuts. Why is uniformity and not surprising the user suddenly a bad thing when its the web?

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      Exactly. I think what we are losing are the crazy homebrewed websites of the 90s/00s.

      Now even the most modest and beginner website will be using one of the libraries used by everyone else.

      This is both good, as it means that more people can finally access this technology (ss a developer), and bad, since we lose a bit of quirkiness.

      The thing to think though is: was that crazy internet we had in the past due to creative people being creative or simply because everyone didn’t know anything and didn’t have tools to do better? I remember being 12 and struggling to make a background static, my first website wasn’t “different” out of creativity but out of lack of knowledge and patience.

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        most desktop applications use mostly the [same?] menu layouts and keyboard shortcuts

        I’m not sure that is true anymore. I don’t at all intend to argue against your point about uniformity and not surprising the user. But the desktop applications I’ve seen lately do not have a menu bar, they do not use standard window decorations and they seemingly do not have any common keybindings apart from Ctrl-c, Ctrl-x, Ctrl-v and Alt-F4. They render as borderless windows and implement their own minimize, maximize and close buttons. If there’s a menu it’s some custom stuff behind a button that looks either like a hamburger(‽), a gear or three vertical dots. The selected desktop theme has very little effect on their looks. They might as well be web pages, and many of them probably are.

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          I think that uniformity is a benefit, but only if the standard that has been settled on is good. For example, I think that hamburger menus, which are everywhere today, are clearly inferior to horizontal menus, which were everywhere fifteen years ago.

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            Horizontal menus are great on desktop, but don’t work in mobile. That’s why we got hamburger menus.

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              The problem is that website developers force that compromise on everyone, rather than just on mobile device users.

              If a hamburger menu really is the best solution for a certain website when it’s viewed from a mobile device, I really would like the website to degrade to a hamburger menu when I visit it from a phone, and display a normal, non-horrible menu on desktop. It’s not even that hard anymore, now that pointer media query is supported by everything.

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            The entire last section of the article is dedicated to addressing this.

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              No, it is not. The last section’s TLDR is: Conformity through libraries brings greater accessibility, Mozilla says its bad, and appeal to nostalgia. It does not at all address that the exact opposite attitude is generally held for most of the rest of computing.

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            I mean, most large websites aren’t going to deviate too far from the holy grail layout + bootstrap/material when the whole site has to conform to every screen size and mobile device. The less you have going on the more you can deviate from what would now be considered standards I think.

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              But does Netcraft confirm it?

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                In South Korea, websites that all look the same are only for old people. And Natalie Portman. And CowboyNeal. You insensitive clod.

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                Around the start of that timeframe, sites generally looked as intended on IE 6 and like shit on phones and not much better my widest screen. Now they generally look a bit like bootstrap on all three.

                I think what’s happened is that a few people found something that looked okay on a wide variety of screens, and a lot of others copied those few. The variety we now have is the widely-known variety within the widely-known templates, whereas before we had the widely-known variety that IE6 supported.

                This is perhaps less. I can see at least two ways:

                1. The results I see don’t vary from shit via intended to shit again, depending on what device I use. Losing that variety counts as a feature in my eyes.
                2. And the results I see all use the same blocky blockiness, instead of all that IE6 allowed on the designer’s favioured screen size. Which is less in absolute terms but I’m not sure it means anything more than “supporting more screen sizes constrains the design”… duh.

                There’s also an orthogonal question of colour. Modern design has increased the emphasis on readable colours with sensible contrast, I’m somewhat uncertain whether sites actually use the flexibility that allows or whether they just copy something that got good scores from googlebot’s legibility test. If the latter, then we’ve gained legibility but we’ve lost more in variety than was necessary.