November 21st, 2012 12:12 am by Vincent Flanders
Submitter’s comments:. I came across this hot pink beauty that is slow to load, horrible to read, and all around miserable for the end user to experience. I’m sure you will not be surprised to learn that it is an Architecture site, but I thought I would share. Keep up the great work! :-)
Vincent Flanders’ comments: I was impressed that Rice University not only has their own mobile app, but their website works on a mobile phone—even without using HTML5. Apparently, I was under the mistaken impression that HTML5 was necessary to use the Viewport tag. I sit corrected. On the other hand, the school of architecture is not impressive in a positive sense.
The site has no mobile app or even a mobile version. That’s the least of its problems. The most serious is the contrast clash of the flaming pink color with the white links below. Your eye is immediately drawn toward the pink section with the school’s logo. Then, when your eyes go toward the text your eyes blur momentarily. There must be a scientific name for this, but I don’t know its name.
We also have Mystery Meat Navigation toward the bottom of the page in the Publications section. Maybe these book titles (when you can read them) mean something to other architects, but I can’t be sure.
The home page is HUGE. It clocks in at 7.1Mb. Not only is it fat, but it’s slow. It takes over 3 seconds for the first byte to show up and then takes an additional 3.5 seconds to start to render. The page takes 44.5 seconds to fully load. Here’s a waterfall of the page (this link is the same as the one above) showing what’s wrong.
Rice isn’t alone. Lots of architectural websites suck. Check out Architecture — An Industry With Sucky Websites.