The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Online are probably among the most visited websites on the planet but are they user-friendly ? Some instances:
The New York Times: When you are reading an article on NYTimes and happen to double click a single word or a sentence, NYTimes website will automatically open the dictionary definition of that word(s) from Answers.com in a pop-up window - definitely not a good user experience (see screenshot).
It's kind of irritating because people often double click words/sentences on a web page to either drag them to the browser search box or copy-paste text as web clippings in their internet scrapbooks - they are not interested in the meaning of the word.
There should at least be an easy option to turn off the dictionary feature of NYTimes.
The Wall Street Journal Online: When you select some text on a Wall Street Journal web page and right click, WSJ will automatically show links to related articles in a neat pop-up window - not so unfriendly but you have to become a member of WSJ.com and login in order to turn off that feature.
And this auto-search feature may be a problem for those who are browsing through a slow dial-up connection [see screenshot of WSJ.com below with search in progress]
The Wall Street Journal Online: A lot of websites link to external pages with the target="_blank" attribute that will open hyperlinks in new browser windows or tabs. Perfect but the WSJ web pages go a step further when linking to external website content.
Here's a code snippet from a WSJ web page which links to Desktop Tower Defense website:
And from the perspective of "human" readers, external websites will always open in a new browser window - you cannot right click the website link and open it in a new tab. Hence even in the age of tabbed browsers, you may end up having multiple browser windows on your desktop originating from a single WSJ web page.