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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.

Friday Fun: A Real Life “Fuck You. Pay Me.”

June 9th, 2011 4:04 pm by Vincent Flanders

fuck you pay meIf you have clients, you need to watch the FYPM video. Historical note: the phrase comes from Goodfellas.

It’s a great video that most of us can identify with. A friend of mine has the distinction of having many of the excuses clients use to not pay thrown at him in one afternoon.

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Vincent Flanders

Thanks for sending the Fuck You! Pay Me! video. Love it. It got me so fired up that I used it on a recalcitrant customer. Here’s the email exchange that took place today.

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Connie Conniving-Customer

Could you please get a check going for this invoice? (See attachment). It seems to have slipped through the cracks.

Email from Connie Conniving-Customer to Cool Graphic Artist

The production of the flyer was not approved by the Association prior to John Doe giving you the approval and as such, the Association is not responsible for payment of the invoice.

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Connie Conniving-Customer

John Doe has acted as a representative for this organization from the beginning. Hell, he commissioned the logo, which was paid for by the organization. So the issue of payment for my services is between you and him. And I suggest that you take it up with John Doe and pay me. The amount of ill will generated by not paying me is not worth $165.

Email from Connie Conniving-Customer to Cool Graphic Artist

I have spoken with John Doe about this matter previously.  By the way, I need our logo as I have never received it from you. As the President of the Association, I need to be provided with a camera ready copy of the logo.  Please forward it to me immediately.

John Doe may act as a representative but he does not have unlimited authority to spend the Association’s money without prior approval.  It may have been in your best interest to verify approval.  The Association has officers in place and there have been many changes in the Association since the time the logo was purchased from you.

As I previously advised you, the Association did not approve the project for the golf tournament and we are not in a position to pay for an invoice that was not approved.

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Connie Conniving-Customer

Nah. I’m not sending the logo until you pay me my $165. Or you can get John Doe to pay me. I don’t care.

Email from Connie Conniving-Customer to Cool Graphic Artist

I’ll tell you what, you send me the logo, I will send you the $165 and we will take our business elsewhere.  I am NOT sending the check until I have the logo in my possession.

It escalates:

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Connie Conniving-Customer

Nope. It doesn’t work that way. I’ve been doing graphic design 30 years. I’ve always been fair. Send me a check. I’ll send you the vector art, JPGs for in-house use, color and black & white versions. I’ll also send you PDFs of all of the ads for the directory that still hasn’t been produced. You’re welcome to take your business elsewhere.

I’m not trying to be obstinate, but I was hired to do your Association’s business. If you want to be mad at someone and go after your money,  talk to John. I don’t think I should be put in the middle of some internal politics. I was requested to crank a flyer out in a hurry. It was presented as an Association fund raiser. No one called me and said- “John Doe is working on his own. He doesn’t represent the Association.

I do all of the advertising and collateral for your (name deleted) Non-Profit Organization. Every time someone from marketing or elsewhere in your Non-Profit Organization requests some work, I’m not going to call the VP of Marketing to get an OK because the precedent has been set. If someone were to step outside of their authority and order something, the Non-Profit Organization would pay it and deal with the person that made the request. That’s how it works from an ethical standpoint—and legal one as well. It’s not much money, but in this day and age I’ve got to go after what’s owed me.

Hope you can understand where I’m coming from.

Email from Connie Conniving-Customer to Cool Graphic Artist

Well, okay I will have the logo reproduced elsewhere.  Please return the camera-ready ads to the people who paid you for their work as those items do not belong to Association.  I will work with them directly. I do need to make it clear that you were NOT hired by the Association, you were hired by John Doe. Neither the Association nor myself are going to be forced into paying something that was not authorized.

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Connie Conniving-Customer

Well, if that’s the way you want to play it. Just so you know, you don’t own the copyright to the logo. I own the copyright. This article explains it very well.

If you decide to have a logo done, it better not look like mine or you will be in violation of copyright law. Oh, yeah. Good luck getting someone to do a logo for $165.

Email from Cool Graphic Artist to Vincent Flanders

Vincent: This is where things stand Friday afternoon. I should have just said “Fuck you pay me.”

Posted in Bad Business Practices, Daily Sucker |

Anthem Health – Example of Bad Web Design for April 13, 2011

April 13th, 2011 4:04 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: Although my background is more in graphic arts than UI design, I’m a big fan of your work.

My most recent encounter with crazy web layout/navigation comes courtesy of my health insurance plan.

After about my fourth login, I finally realized that the main navigation structure is composed of three columns (colors: puke green, blue, red) on the right side. The real beauty of this design is that the navigation columns leap from the right side of the screen to the left when clicked. And then they leap back when another column is clicked. I’ve never seen anything like this before. All the sliding columns are causing eye/mouse strain!

I believe this is one of the biggest health insurance companies in the country. How can the navigation of its web site be so convoluted?! Thanks again for promoting good web design. Your site has helped me a lot.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: Anthem Health is making me very sick. In addition to the bronchitis I’ve had for the last month, this site’s navigation is making me puke my guts out. If Christopher Columbus used navigation this bad, we’d still be living in Europe. This company isn’t like yesterday’s sucker, Unexplained Research, this is a big, supposedly serious company.

This site typifies a new plague on web design which I’m calling, for the moment, jQrap. jQrap is the crappy misuse of the jQuery Javascript library’s effects just for the sake of using the effects. Just like Flash gets misused by Flashturbators, jQuery is starting to be misused by clowns like me who aren’t programmers. Oh, yeah, there are a lot ob bad programmers writing a lot of jQrappy plugins.

There are also a whole host of contrast issues, but they pale to the navigation.

Initially, I’m calling this phenomenon “jQrap.” I might change it to jQueryCrap or jCrap or whatever great name you come up with in the comments or email.

Anthem Health

Posted in Bad Business Practices, Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design, Worst Web Sites |

P and M Computers – Example #2 of Bad Web Design for March 23, 2011

March 23rd, 2011 5:05 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: I’m on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean from you and I can hear you
ranting about this website even at this distance.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: That’s why I love my readers. They’re smart, clever, funny and right about 99% of the time.

Concerning P&M — WTF? The whole site is Flash, which is so 2001. Complete Flash websites are dead, dead, dead. FlashSplash pages are even more dead. WTF (Who The Heck) signed off on this monstrosity? What do the symbols mean? Why hasn’t this site been laughed out of existence?

P&M Computers

Posted in Bad Business Practices, Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design, Worst Web Sites |

Songkick – Example of Bad Usability for February 18, 2011

February 18th, 2011 6:06 am by Vincent Flanders

As profiled in TechCrunch, Songkick “provides people with a centralized way of keeping track of live performances by their favorite bands and artists.” Pick a band to follow and you’ll get suggestions of other artists to follow. That’s fine except when they suggest artists who have been dead for nearly 20 years. C’mon guys.


Posted in Bad Business Practices, Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

There are times when you don’t want people to read your text.

December 30th, 2010 9:09 pm by Vincent Flanders

If you’ve been to WPTS and read the articles, you’ll know that lack of contrast between the text and the background color upsets me for one simple reason:


You would think any designer whose IQ is higher than an ice cube understands this concept. Nope. Today’s Daily Sucker, adlucent, is unclear on the concept.

On the other hand, there are actually times when it’s permissible—even mandatory—for text to be unreadable. Scroll down and take a look at the footer of Wachovia Bank’s home page. The text color is #8B8B8B on a background of #FFFFFF, which fails the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. This is just one line of text from their footer that’s hard to read.

Important new FDIC insurance rules in effect from December 31, 2010 through
December 31, 2012. Learn More

Why would they want their customers to read and understand the new rules?

My current privacy page fails big time. My original privacy page is very readable.

Privacy pages, footers and important information that’s considered “the fine print” can be made hard to read. If you don’t want people reading your text, make the text small and lower the contrast.

Posted in Bad Business Practices, Usability, Web Design |

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