how NOT to program ANY app, webpage, or internet product

iPhone Weather AppYes I get it. Ads help pay if not entirely pay for web development and web pages, it’s the engine that keeps developers eating beyond Ramen noodles and helps finance them to create wonderful things. That said, don’t, if you’re a programmer, delude yourself into thinking anyone actually likes ads because the truth is, excepting maybe a few of us with a thing for the Superbowl who watch it FOR the ads, consumers really don’t like ads. I’ve railed in the past in online and in lectures about websites who, through whichever mechanism, will bog down to actually hanging up if a web advert doesn’t load, killing the experience of the page, and hopefully driving users to go elsewhere. Good to great web sites and apps are designed where the content, that is the information the viewer WANTS to see and is going there specifically for, gets loaded first. Ads should come in last and be programmed to be loaded in such a way it’s done unobtrusively and not interfere with the loading of content. If anything, coded in such a way that, even if the ads load to fail, all the content is displayed because, after all, that IS what the viewer is looking for, not an ad.

So imagine my joy when I went to check out the weather the other day on the Weather Channel app to get… nothing. Nothing! My smartphone was on a network, in fact, two – both 3G and a WiFi connection. I could go to any other app or browser and load anything else that needed to access the internet for it’s data. For whatever reason, the Weather app wasn’t giving me weather because whatever ad service they use must have been hiccuping, causing the inability to load the actual weather info, you know, why someone would USE it?! This simple act sent me back to the Weatherbug app, which, I don’t like their features as much, but it loads, in fact, the version I have is ad free, and even if it wasn’t, provided it worked, it would get my business.