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The Daily Sucker - Current examples of bad web design

The Daily Sucker

Sites featured in articles like Worst Websites of 2010 often are redesigned, which explains why some sites mentioned in my articles don't match their current look. The Daily Sucker features current examples of bad web design which haven't been fixed (yet).

If you see a site that you think sucks, email the URL to me. No personal pages (personal pages are supposed to reflect the individual's personality and artistic freedom) or web site designers (it would look like a conflict of interest), or others of their ilk.

If I think there's some merit to your selection, I may post it along with some commentary. If you know of a site that qualifies, let me know.

The Times-Picayune – An Example of Bad Web Design for May 13, 2012

May 13th, 2012 11:11 pm by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

This is the Daily Sucker

Submitter’s comments: Three days ago our local New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, decided to launch a “new and improved” website. There was nothing wrong with the previous design. While it was not flashy, it was very readable, easy to navigate and worked with all browsers, operating systems and platforms. It’s replacement is nothing short of horrendous!

The primary color is now a garish “seizure-inducing yellow”. The header now takes up the top third of the screen. The formerly user-friendly home page, where one could get all the news at glance, has been replaced by an “always on top” bar with flyouts that follows the user everywhere and pops out, seemingly at random, obscuring whatever one is attempting to read. The JavaScript that this bar uses causes the scrolling to be very jerky. The fonts look like they were chosen by a third-grader. Content, which used to be easily accessible, is now buried so deep that much of it is nearly impossible to find. The site no longer works on a iPad because flyouts are not supported. Several people have also reported that it no longer works with other browsers, such as Opera. I could go on, but you simply must see it for yourself!

The readers are outraged and are deserting nola.com like rats from a sinking ship. This change has generated over 350 comments so far (even more than when the Saints won the Super Bowl) begging The Times-Picayune to make it go away. Most, like myself, have clearly stated our intention to get our local news elsewhere. Several of the commentators are professional web designers themselves, and have made the observation that if they were to deliver such a product to a client they would promptly be fired. Unfortunately, all of our pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Below are links to the current site. For the sake of comparison, I’ve included a link to an Alabama news site which uses the old template. I am also including a link to the reader comments, some of which are quite funny! I hope you will have a look at this and consider my nomination of nola.com to be included in your gallery of “worst websites”.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: I first went to this site with my Chrome browser and it was a disaster, as this screen capture demonstrates. I was using Windows 7 with a portrait monitor. The home page was just as bad in Internet Explorer 9. This is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

I loaded the page on my XP machine with IE 7 and everything looked worked just fine. The site worked fine on my iPad and the mobile version worked fine on my iPhone. The home page takes too long to load and the page feels like it is held together with wire and glue and could fly apart at any second. Oh, it did fall apart.

When it’s working, I think the site looks fine; however, I’m not the target audience. I’m coming to it without a history. Hopefully, they tested this site with current users. I think the old site looks terrible. It’s cluttered like so many other newspaper sites, but it’s a comforting and familiar site to its old audience. Once the kinks are worked out, I think people will like the site.

The Times-Picayune

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |