How to Write Bullshit Article Titles That Sound Profound And Get Readers
I'm really, really, really tired of all these formulaic headlines for articles you see on design sites. If you don't know the formula, I'm going to give it to you:
[number] [hyperbole-based modifier] [name of software or web-related noun] for your [some type of mental state]
which ends up as:
10 Awesome Websites For Your Inspiration
A variation on a sad theme:
[number] [hyperbole-based modifier] [name of software or web-related noun] [noun] -- which ends up as:
30 Amazing JQuery Tips
40 Brilliant Photoshop Backgrounds
75 Exciting Web-Design Tips
There isn't any content there. It's somebody going out to Google and running some searches and then compiling the links, grabbing screen shots and adding a paragraph of text to each entry. It's like those CDs you see advertised on TV: 40 Power Ballads. Yeah, that's creative.
What set me off was a recent article about how popular web sites looked in the late 1990's. While it's interesting to see what Adobe or Apple looked liked back then, there isn't much you can learn from these sites. I'm also not sure how much inspiration you can get from looking at any kind of good examples. Looking at this middle-aged man is not going to inspire me to get off my rear end (may be NSFW) and excercise, It's going to depress me and I'm going to head toward the refrigerator.
On the other hand, you can really learn from and be inspired by web sites that are featured on Web Pages That Suck — especially those from the late 90's. At the very least, you can learn to take the other direction. More importantly, you'll feel good about your design skills because nobody ever looked at the examples on Web Pages That Suck and said, "I'm a horrible designer because I can't create these kinds of web sites." When you leave this site, you'll feel good about your design skills.
I'm going to temporarily succumb to the madness and create a non-numeric bullshit title for an article, but I'm putting some content and some work behind it. Here it is: Gorgeous Websites From The Late 90's To Inspire You — If You Have No Taste