A few weekends ago, my friend Ellen asked me to help her customise her MySpace page. After giving her my rant about why MySpace is all kinds of wrong, I agreed to help her out. I refuse to have a MySpace account out of principle, so I’ve never tried to customise a MySpace page, but I did know that it’s not the most intuitive of processes. That night provided all the confirmation I needed that this is indeed the case.
It really annoys me that MySpace is seen as the champion of customisation. If you believe the press, MySpace invented the concept of customisable profile pages. The truth of the matter is that it always been one big giant hack. Whilst it’s true that the service demonstrated that people want total control over their profile pages, it still lacks any easy internal method of allowing it’s users to do so, instead relying on a legion of third-party sites to provide these customisation options.
As such, I watched Ellen click on countless ads that take you into a whole world of third party companies that offer layouts, background patterns, animated diarrhoea and other design elements of brought back from the year 1996. I knew it was bad, but this was just too much for me to handle.
Of course, once we found an image (or more accurately a chunk of unintuitive HTML code) the edit profile page was generating an error, so we had to give up for the night.
It’s funny because its true.