Web Pages That Suck - learn good web design by looking at bad web design


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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.

Allen College – Example of Bad Web Design for February 23, 2011

February 23rd, 2011 10:10 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: Look at this website for Allen College. I am especially amused by the green menus that appear when you move the mouse over the headings in the blue section near the top. I wonder who picked out that color?

Vincent Flanders’ comments: Wow! The only possible reason this color exists because it’s the school color. I guess the thinking process was, “Let’s make the sliding menus hard to read so visitors will get frustrated and leave.”

I love how the menu gets blocked by the text. And, of course, there are problems with the contrast of the text on the background. (This site gives a really great visual demonstration of contrast.) If you won’t take my word about the need for contrast, take Alistapart’s. Between the two of us, you’ve got the alpha and omega of web design telling you to wo/man up and make your site readable.

For the final word on contrast, here’s a very good article.

A great resource for understanding contrast

Allen College

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

Manzella’s Fruit Market – Example of Bad Web Design for February 21, 2011

February 21st, 2011 6:06 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: Maybe it’s not a Daily Sucker, but it’s not good. This is for a local green grocer. It’s all Flash and the landing page is not the Home page. Finding the weekly ad or business hours requires more clicking around than necessary. That info should be front and center for customers. There is a lot of clickable stuff that simply does nothing. For some reason the weekly ad is almost always an overly large PDF. The music can’t be shut off. It’s a good store but a bad site.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: You’re wrong, it is the Daily Sucker, and a quite worthy addition.

The site was created back in 2008 when Flash websites were still relevant (that’s a lie on my part, but I’m trying to be nice). There’s nothing on this website that can’t be done in HTML. They could still keep the fruit and vegetable animations if they wanted. If you can do it in HTML, then do it. You can get a better, more easily edited and less expensive website with HTML.

I’ve seen so many sucky sites that I know to look for business hours and phone numbers under the “Contact” link. You’re right. It should be front and center.  I never did find any weekly ads, but I did find dead links. If you go to the “Other Goods” page and look under the second column heading (“Our staff is here to help”), you’ll see what looks like links (“Lottery Tickets”, etc.), but they’re not. Also, on the “Gift Baskets” page there’s not enough contrast between the text and the background.

At first glance, the site appears to be OK, but it sucks.

Manzella’s Fruit Market

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

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 |

Stop Promoting Websites That Don’t Follow Web Standards And Are Hard To Read

February 15th, 2011 10:10 pm by Vincent Flanders

I’m tired of reading articles about “Websites That Will Inspire You” that feature sites that don’t follow web standards for contrast. These standards are for the visually impaired, but you don’t have to be blind to not be able to read the content on many websites.

As AccessKeys points out:

“The W3C recommends a standard of 500 or greater for the color difference and a standard of 125 or greater for color brightness.” These recommendations are in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

Some designers act that these standards are only important if you want to have an accessible website. If we were only concerned about accessibility, we could just say, “Screw ’em, they’re blind” and go on the way we’ve been going for years. Unfortunately, people who aren’t blind or vision impaired have difficulty reading these pages.

I’m not asking much, I just want to read your text and see what you have to say is of interest. If I can’t read it, I will leave it. So will anyone with a brain in their head.

Since I don’t critique web design firms as it would appear to be a conflict of interest (even though I don’t offer design services), I won’t point out which websites suck in the following article. Fortunately, the article is not just limited to design firms.

My readers are smart. You’ll be able to figure out which websites suck.

Stop Promoting Websites That Don’t Follow Web Standards And Are Hard To Read

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design, Worst Web Sites |

BJ The Clown – Example of Bad Web Design for February 3, 2011

February 3rd, 2011 1:01 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: I was actually looking for a friend of mine who operates under the same name. I was just about to drive round and smack him upside the head, but it turns out this isn’t his page.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: I’m sure he can’t change the name “BJ The Clown,” but I think I would. As this screen shot demonstrates, the home page is amazing—especially when you have your monitor in portrait mode. I don’t think this tiling is acceptable. The use of frames has its drawbacks. On the home page, there’s a link to the home page. This is always a bad idea, but it’s especially bad when you use frames. As this screen shot illustrates, it loads the home page over itself.

BJ is from Portland, Oregon, a city much beloved by yours truly. One of the funniest new shows on cable is Portlandia, a “dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon. ”

BJ The Clown

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design, Worst Web Sites |

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