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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.

Marvis Contemporary Toothpaste – An Example of Bad Web Design for June 7, 2012

June 6th, 2012 11:11 pm by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: Marvis is an Italian toothpaste company. My wife found the brand and bought me a tube of the licorice flavored paste just for fun. It’s good paste, but the site is (quoting my wife) “Neat, slow, pointless.” There’s Mystery Meat Navigation too! After what felt like a waste of 30 minutes of my life spending time on the site, I left feeling a little like I just played the 90’s game Myst, but I didn’t accomplish anything at all.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: There’s an option for a low- and high-bandwidth version of the site. They both seem high-bandwidth to me.

It’s a typically overwrought Flash site. The time you spend clicking around is not rewarded by useful information.

Marvis Contemporary Toothpaste

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

Puy du Fou – An Example of Bad Web Design for May 23, 2012

May 22nd, 2012 10:10 pm by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: Here’s a nomination for a web page that sucks that’s a combination of awesome and awful.

1) I start out on the English language version, but when I go to the Book Now page, they are in French, not English. Is there an English version of this page?

2) On the Dates and Prices page, the text is much too small to read.

3) There are various places where it talks about Special Offers or Discounts but when I go to the page it seems to be asking for a Promotional Code.

When I go to the Dates and Prices page, the information is presented via Adobe Flash so there’s no way to zoom in.

By the way, if you go to the main page and want it in a language other than French, you have to look very, very carefully for the tiny little flags at the right of the line at the very bottom of the page

Vincent Flanders’ comments: In this mobile world, Flash websites are rapidly becoming obsolete. The submitter’s comments are spot on,so I don’t really have anything to add.

Puy du Fou

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

Zulily – An Example of Mediocre Web Design for May 22, 2012

May 22nd, 2012 12:12 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: You have to sign up to see their store? WTF?

Vincent Flanders’ comments: This “feature” is becoming more and more common with Flash Sale Sites. No, not those silly concoctions using Adobe Flash, but Deal-of-the-Day or Deal-of-the-Next-Three Day Sites.

Generally, with these types of sites, you can find out more details by going to the bottom menu. In this case, “Brands We Love” shows you the type of products that will be on sale.

I’m more concerned with the inconsistent link color on the home page. “Read more about us” is a link, but “great savings” and “Discover” and “Featuring” aren’t links although the text is the same color.

The same color confusion holds true on the “Brands We Love” page. The text in the section “Check Back Soon”is the same color as the link color in the “Brands We Love” section (#333).

It’s confusing. Although it’s not a Daily Sucker in the classical sense, it’s mediocre web design (but not as mediocre as this site <grin>).


Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

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 |

FU Military Academy – An Example of Bad Web Design for May 10, 2012

May 9th, 2012 11:11 pm by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

This is the Daily Sucker

Submitter’s comments: It sucks.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: Ah, this site brings back those wonderful childhood memories of my mother yelling, “If you don’t shape up I’m going to send you to Culver Military Academy!” Culver, by the way, is a much better looking website than FU.

The FU site reminds me a lot of this site (WPTS). It’s basically mediocre; however, they have committed two interesting mortal sins: the link for their mobile site is not at the top of the page, but toward the bottom. This doesn’t even take into account they should be using media queries to send people to the mobile site. The second mortal sin is that the mobile site is really just a text site and not a site made for mobile. They’re using Un Responsive Web Design instead of Responsive Web Design.

FU Military Academy

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

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