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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Link Maintenance

The Links box (‘blogroll’ is too much like ‘bogroll’) on this weblog’s home page was due for an update, so I’ve replaced a few links with new ones. I’m following 70 sites in Bloglines at the moment, but only pick around a dozen to go with the obvious ‘shouts out to my homies’ (links to friends/clients).

Only one site got removed for a specific negative reason. Jay is Games uses pop-ups to launch games instead of simply linking, which is an irritating and selfish attempt to get people to link to their pages instead of directly to the games. That kind of thing is just tacky and outdated, so I’m now steering clear. Any recommendations for alternative blogs about online games?

Update: After exchanging several comments and emails, it’s clear there’s no intention to hamper users, and Jay’s already fixing some of the niggles with the scripting. So I’ve reinstated the link, everyone’s happy and the world is full of sweetness and light once again.


Creating pop-ups is not a new practice, I've been doing it since I started regularly reviewing online games back in 2004. The point was to create a consistent user interface for visitors to the site, and I have received many, many more accolades for doing so than the handful of negative comments like yours.

Call it selfish and tacky if you like, but I call it good usability design.

Besides, there is ALWAYS an HTML link to the game present in each review for those that do not care for pop-ups. Again, good, consistent usability design.

Jay, 8th Dec, 11:27pm

I wouldn't call a 'Click' link that's coded in that way good usability, but yeah, to be fair there's an ordinary link within the review.

I know I worded it harshly, but any site that launches links using pop-ups without address bars always feels like it's trying to 'trap' its users at the expense of the linked site, whether that's true or not.

Matt Round, 8th Dec, 11:51pm

Funny thing is, one time I left off the "Click" link at the end of the review, and within minutes I had comments telling me that I forgot to include it.

Perhaps it doesn't conform to what the W3C would like to see, but for the sake of consistency and providing what our visitors have come to expect and appreciate from us, at least some permutation of it continues to get included in every review.

I have learned that you get further in this world by helping others and sharing with them what you know, because you become much more valuable to them that way.

Jay, 9th Dec, 12:48am

Yeah, but I'm a super-picky web developer, so sharing what I know inevitably sometimes involves being all whiny and opinionated about details, hence the 'Rants and Grumbles' category ;)

Matt Round, 9th Dec, 1:30pm

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