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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.

Draw The Line – An Example of Bad Web Design for October 24, 2012

October 24th, 2012 5:05 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: This website is for what is a good cause (in my belief system). Still, whether or not a person supports the cause of women’s reproductive rights, I’m sure everyone but the designer (or the person directing the designer, or both) can agree that this site is a stinker.

At first glance, it looks fine. It looks nice and powerful, but bold. It tells you to scroll down. This is where it falls apart, or at least on my outdated Internet Explorer. Yes, I know, but it’s a work computer, and I’m stuck with whatever I get here. Now, maybe it looks much better on newer, faster software? I think a site asking for public support cannot afford to block out the people who are not making enough money to have all the new-fangled technology. Have a look at it on your least-up-to-date browser and see how it goes.

I’ve just tried it on Firefox and it works a whole lot better, but seriously, it is still so bitty and full of unnecessary features and effects, even though it is glossy and they have some big names connected to it (well, big celebrities, anyway), I just want it over with. The option for just skipping the “advanced HTML5 experience” appears on the Firefox page, the one where the effect actually works, but not on the Internet Explorer page where one is already struggling with getting through it.

Even without the fancy-schmancy effects, you still have to scroll, and scroll, and scroll, until you eventually get to the bit where you sign the petition, the text of which is hard enough to read on Firefox, but terrible on Internet Explorer.

Is this the suckiest page on the web? Perhaps not, but though I support the cause, I’m certainly not recommending it and subjecting my friends to such frustration. So, though they’re not absolutely horrific, blinding, and mind-bendingly awful, are they at least a contender for honorable mention?

Vincent Flanders’ comments: I’m going to probably give it more than an honorable mention. It might make Numero Uno on my list of bad websites for the year. “Vincent. You mean it’s going to beat out Constellation 7?” Yeah. Read on for an explanation.

I hold “cause” websites to a higher standard than commercial websites. When a commercial website sucks, it just hurts employees and stockholders. When a “cause” website sucks, it generally hurts the people it serves–people who are often the most vulnerable. That’s why Draw The Line pisses me off so much (it could be a pro-life site because they’re both causes).

There’s no need to use HTML5 effects on this website because get in the way of the user. It’s a classic example of Mistake #1 from The Biggest Mistakes in Web Design 1995-2015Believing people care about you and your website

Read my lips: Nobody cares about you or your website.

As the home page demonstrates (on my portrait monitor), the page uses HTML5 shenanigans to get you to scroll down so you can see what will happen if you don’t support their cause. Some people with modern browsers will miss the message. Those who see the message and scroll WILL BE WASTING THEIR TIME. The messages can be more effectively presented with good, old HTML. The submitter is absolutely correct–many people who need to see the message will have old, sucky IE6 which, our submitter claims, messes up. Fortunately, I don’t have it. I have IE7 and the page seems to work. But so what?

If the HTML5 effects are so wonderful, why doesn’t the mobile version of the site use them and make you scroll. Here’s a screenshot of the first screen and here’s a shot where I’ve scrolled to the end. The mobile site is fine. Heck, it’s very good. It’s a shame the designers didn’t go “mobile first.”

It seems to me the real purpose of the site is to show off the designers’ HTML5 chops to jack up their personal/professional/company portfolio.

For the above reasons, Draw The Line will probably be the best-looking Worst Website of 2012.

Draw The Line

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

Digital Hollywood – An Example of Bad Web Design for October 23, 2012

October 23rd, 2012 4:04 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: This is a site for a digital marketing conference. It is full of fail.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: While it’s correct to say this site is full of fail (massive fail), the site is far worse than that. The conference is about “Media Disruption – From Tablets and SmartPhones to Connected TVs” and there’s no Tablet or SmartPhone version of the website. Duh Freaking Duh.

Also, the web version is a joke that’s only 5 degrees of separation from Constellation 7. If you look at the home page on a large portrait monitor, you’ll see the page is more cramped than the people on Survivor. There are text contrast issues, the text is small, it’s difficult to tell where the links are located and when you find many of them they say “Click here.” The ultimate in non-helpfulness. Your links are supposed to tell you where you’ll end up. There’s a lot more fail, but it’s Tuesday and I don’t want to depress you. Check out my article Does My Web Site Suck? Checklist 1 for a lot more possible mistakes.

The fact that these important media people don’t protest this abusive design makes me wonder whether or not they have any aesthetic taste. Oops. I forgot. These are media people. Disclaimer. My father and sister once worked for McGraw-Hill (the people who, I believe, are putting on this conference). There goes my career in showbiz.

Digital Hollywood

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

Oscar Bruch – An Example of Bad Web Design for October 22, 2012

October 22nd, 2012 4:04 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: Having attended the texass state fair, I came away with some things to look up… ride manufacturers!

I think that without a question Andernoch/Bruch/Düsseldorf comes in first. I visited their site and found an amazing number of things to be disgustingly scary.

The content area is about 90px.
On pretty much every page you view, there is sort of band of grayed out pictures. One would expect this to be a visual relief; however, it is actually MORE navigation. So, in addition to the existing navigation, there is also entire separate unlabeled navigation bar. And under this navigation bar on select pages there is another navigation bar. Holy shit! These guys just can’t get enough navigation.

On top of the poor usability, this site is like Photoshop-land! Every single page is a veritable carpet bomb of poorly airbrushed images, and badly designed logos; this site is the gift that keeps on taking. I’m sure you’ll continue accidentally locating new pages in this heap of crap.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: The grayed out pictures are actually Mystery Meat Navigation, a term I’m proud to have coined.

As far as I can tell, the only way to find their content is to go to the sitemap and click either “Bilder” or “Technik” under the different rides.

This German site sucks. Or as Google Translate says, “Diese Website saugt.”

Oscar Bruch

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

United Skates of America RI – An Example of Bad Web Design That Isn’t the Daily Sucker for October 19, 2012

October 18th, 2012 6:06 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: Let’s have a game of “spot the bad design mistakes”

  • Music on every page (different on each page too – I’m pretty sure that most of them break copyright laws)
  • Broken links from menu
  • Too much on the main page
  • Comic sans as a font
  • Fonts in several colours in the same paragraph
  • GIFs all over
  • No consistency on opening in new window/parent

I’ve probably missed some points

Vincent Flanders’ comments: You might be confused because the title says this site “Isn’t the Daily Sucker.” The submitter is absolutely correct about the design mistakes; however, I’m letting this one slide because of the intended audience. Yes, parents are going to be the ones to use the site, but they’re going to look at it as their kids would look at it and it won’t bother them. I’d like the address and phone number to be a little more prominent.

Actually, there’s a possibility the music on the site is legit. Skating rinks have to license music (just like bars). Then again, maybe they haven’t. I’m sure somebody will report them to BMI, ASCAP and SESAC.

I realize that this contradicts what I said about a skating site I included in one of my worst websites of the year lists, but I’m not a politician so it’s OK to have a change of heart.

United Skates of America RI

Posted in Not a Daily Sucker, Web Design |

Cloud 9 Walkers – An Example of Bad Web Design for October 16, 2012

October 16th, 2012 3:03 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: The sad thing is, these are most likely very nice people who just don’t have a clue about how to organize their information and present it in an appealing way.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: It’s interesting. I can go from months without suggestions for two similar businesses and then…bam! A couple of days ago the Daily Sucker was Colorado Ranger Horse Association and today Cloud 9 Walkers shows up. What’s interesting about horse owners / lovers is their love of beautiful horses and ugly websites. Here are a few more I’ve posted about: : Horse Rentals, Lightning Bar Equine Services, All-Star Horse Farm, Lake Glendale Stables Equestrian Center and Castlewood Stables.

I realize the simplest unit of a website is a web page, but you don’t have to put everything on one page.

Cloud 9 Walkers

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

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