We must be careful if we don’t want to make HTML5 look bad.

December 6th 2011

There are some thing we all know we must never do with a technology. For example, we all know we must not do a welcome page in flash anymore, we also know that little animated gif envelopes are banned from contact forms.

These examples have done nothing more than give us content to mock at these poor technology choices.

There seems to be general consensus about these and quite frankly, they are banned because they either don’t bring anything more to the user or are plain ugly.

Let’s be careful with how we handle all these new APIs that are available to us.

Popup games

I think they should now enter the hall of fame of bad use of technology. I just came across this FWA website of the month today and god is it bad.

It uses popups to create a game that works pretty much the same way The Incredible Machine worked. The concept is not bad at all, but the execution is where it fails.

The programmers did a very good job, all the cases are well handled and the game seems to work as intended. That’s not where the problem is.

I’ve tried to play with it for a good 15 minutes, I got the hang of it but the technological choice was really in the way, making it hard to enjoy the game itself.

Good technology is not magic dust 

We always need to be careful when we make a technological choice, we have all these great tools we can use today but because we can use them does not mean we should.

Technology should enhance user experience, not get in the way. Many times while playing that game I clicked mistakenly on the background causing all the popups to go behind the main screen forcing me to press the “restart” button. That’s a good thing the programmers thought of implementing that functionality.

Also, every time you load a level, you have these popups that loads in the bottom left of the screen and then are repositioned, you get the feeling that so much stuff happen at the same time that you have no clue where you should focus.

In now way did the popups enhance the experience. This type of experience worked well with The Wilderness Downtown and that’s probably because you could enjoy the site passively not having to interact with anything while watching the videoclip.


Where it hurts the most is that this site is seen as a technological demo of what HTML5 can do. What’s the takeaway after playing this game? “HTML5 can move popups and play videos!”. Really I feel we’ll laugh at that 5 years down the road.

129 Responses to “We must be careful if we don’t want to make HTML5 look bad.”

  1. JC says:

    Oh my WORD that FWA site was annoying!!!

  2. I didn’t ‘get’ the Civic HTML5 game at all. Sure we want our customers to interact with our brands, but…. I felt a little like this when Apple did their JavaScript animation demo and called it HTML5–though there are worse things. I know people that call Javascript animation Flash, because ‘all animation on the web is Flash.’ Honda did call it an experiment game and a lot of times experiments fail.

  3. Maximus says:

    Hey you know what this is most stupid and non compatible use of a technology. Forget the windows…appearing. The Honda developers are using very small monitors. because on large screen the windows don’t even position it self properly… and above that it suggests you to rearrange the windows manually. Once was manage to do that and continue to step two i understood the game. The fuckin pages crashed. That is the point honda was trying to make. Do not play with too many windows on your browser. It will crash…

    Actually it was not for users experience. They meant to show what kind of experiments they have been busy in. Remember “Asimo”, was a experiment too and it took them decades to make it just walk.

    Seems they are using the latest technology with a very old method. Its like putting a holographic projection technology inside a 1940’s idiot box where you have to control everything by hand (not Gestures) like early days.

    Honda is making itself look like a fool by putting these kind of stuff. I am feeling ashamed how they have used the technology.

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  5. CSS says:

    I feel a bit sorry about all that HTML5 fuss. Years back every webmaster was looking at the RFC hoping the next web, but it just falls apart with the fork, and with web browsers editors engaging into a markup war that reminds of the epic days of Netscape versus Explorer… If HTML5 is here to pimp a few pages with native video players and fancy CSS text-effects, I may as well continue to make websites using xHTML 1.1 and CSS 2.1

  6. Alex says:

    That website, with those pop-ups for their experiment looks more like a virus. I get scared when the pop-ups start to occupy my desktop.

  7. I hate Popus really !!

  8. Grb says:

    I didn’t get the game at all.
    Everything tried opening in tabs, ending mostly with empty tabs and me annoyed of what just happened.

  9. John says:

    Good tips, I am switching to HTML 5 and I have to be really careful to make my blog user friendly 🙂

  10. Irina says:

    I replaced swf with html5 on the computer everything is OK.

  11. Bali Tours says:

    HTML5 on media online games really or no

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  16. Robin says:

    Well, there is more and more advanced feature attributes and elements that can be use by HTML 5 users.

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