June 30th, 2011 1:01 am by Vincent Flanders
Submitter’s comments: My hometown (Syracuse) manages to generate impressive suckiness. It’s kind of embarrassing, but pretty funny.
You had kindly published my previous Syracuse nomination some years ago. Here’s another one. I happen to love diners, but this one puts me off my feed.
We know that Flash splash pages are nearly always bad, but this one is singularly impressive. Sure, you get the usual, very slow loading, with the percentage indicator moving at snail speed. But that’s not all! After waiting a decade for it to load, your reward is an animated woman talking so choppily that she could easily win the world stuttering championship. It was so slow and so bad that I actually recorded it into an audio file so I can listen and laugh later. And I’m on a broadband connection, too! I’d be interested in knowing if you actually get reasonable sounding audio. They must have saved the movie in the least inefficient Flash format possible.
Admittedly, this is a college project, and we know how academia is. They clearly tested this only in the lab, without having it be in the real world on real hosting. I wouldn’t have nominated it, except that there’s just a touch of callow collegiate smugness here and there.
Vincent Flanders’ comments: According to WebPageTest it took 5.562 seconds to start rendering the page. This is for a website on a computer—not some smartphone. I didn’t get any kind of percentage indicator (using Google Chrome), but the lady started talking when the page finally loaded. I didn’t get any stuttering on Google Chrome, but I did get some with Firefox 5. The page loaded much faster in Firefox 5 than Chrome. However, in the history of the internet there has never been a page that automatically plays a video or has some kind of talking avatar that was worth listening to. Ever. It’s a stupid concept and, fortunately, the videos on the subpages don’t automatically run. You have to click to make them run.
I couldn’t figure out how to make the waitress stop speaking until I saw a note that told me to click on her body. Of course, if you go to a subpage and come back to the home page, she starts speaking all over again. It’s a nice looking site so I can’t imagine these people don’t know about cookies and how to use them to shut her up.
According to AccessColor there are contrast problems with the light blue links.
I will give them immense props for making the top menu easy to read. Too many sites (Google for one) have hard-to-read, white-on-black menus.