digress into development

Web UX Patterns

Utilizing well established UX patterns in development can lead to a more intuitive product. On the other hand breaking these can confuse users. Here are some web UX patterns that you should keep in mind:

Semantic HTML

You can’t predict how the user will consume your site. Using semantic HTML makes sure everyone can access it.


Use links to navigate to another page. Don’t wrap them in custom elements. This only breaks behavior like opening a link in the background (cmd/ctrl+click) or using plugins that rely on them (vimium).

Link padding

Don’t confuse users by making only the text in a link clickable. They expect to be able to click on the whole tile.

Visited Links

Consider styling visited links differently than regular links. This helps users navigate your content easier as they don’t need to remember what they have seen already. Keep in mind that styling visited links differently isn’t helpfull for all use cases.

Right Clicks

The web isn’t a GUI. You shouldn’t try to emulate it. The browser has a right click feature for a reason and it leverages the power of semantic html.


Most of the web is intended to be read from top to bottom. Don’t make people scroll horizontally. Also, don’t intercept the scroll event to implement your own scrolling behavior. This would make your design unintuitive.


A URL is a reference to a resource. We use it to access pages on the web. Make each page of your webpage accessible. Otherwise it will cause confusion if a user wants to share, bookmark or navigate history.

URLs Behind Authentication

Often URLs need authentication to be accessed. Visiting such a URL while not authenticated should redirect you to the login page. Singing in should take you to the page that you wanted to visit. This should work even if you opened several restricted pages at once.


Each page that you visit should be written to history. Otherwise, you break the forward and back buttons of the browser. Smartphones often implement them as swiping from the edges of your phone. Don’t override that behavior.

Position Fixed

Avoid the usage of fixed elements on small devices. Users don’t want to see a navigation bar or your app advertisement. They want to see the content.

If you would like to make an addition to this list feel free to open a pull request. I would appreciate it.