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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.

Robbie Robertson and About.com’s Record Comic Book Auction Prices – Bad Web Design Examples for July 4, 2011

July 4th, 2011 6:06 am by Vincent Flanders

Vincent Flanders’ comments: Robbie Robertson has had an amazing musical career. Simply amazing. His website is your average musician website—not as brilliant as his career nor as badly designed as it could be. However, he’s committing a very annoying web design sin: clicking on an image doesn’t give you a bigger image.

Go to Robbie’s images from the 1970’s page. Take a look at the first photo entitled, “The Last Waltz.” Click on the picture. What do you get? Well, not what you’re expecting. If you’re like me, you think you’ll get a bigger version of the picture; otherwise, why is there a link? No. You get the same picture at the same size. What?

About.com’s Record Comic Book Auction Prices page has the same problem, but presents it in a more obnoxious manner. When you mouse over the comic book graphic, the message “View Full Size,” pops up (screenshot 250 x 400 pixels). Guess what you get when you click? The same-size picture (screenshot 250 x 400 pixels).

A site that knows how to handle images is PostSecret.

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

Syracuse Diners – Bad Web Design Example #2 for June 30, 2011

June 30th, 2011 1:01 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: My hometown (Syracuse) manages to generate impressive suckiness. It’s kind of embarrassing, but pretty funny.

You had kindly published my previous Syracuse nomination some years ago. Here’s another one. I happen to love diners, but this one puts me off my feed.

We know that Flash splash pages are nearly always bad, but this one is singularly impressive. Sure, you get the usual, very slow loading, with the percentage indicator moving at snail speed. But that’s not all! After waiting a decade for it to load, your reward is an animated woman talking so choppily that she could easily win the world stuttering championship. It was so slow and so bad that I actually recorded it into an audio file so I can listen and laugh later. And I’m on a broadband connection, too! I’d be interested in knowing if you actually get reasonable sounding audio. They must have saved the movie in the least inefficient Flash format possible.

Admittedly, this is a college project, and we know how academia is. They clearly tested this only in the lab, without having it be in the real world on real hosting. I wouldn’t have nominated it, except that there’s just a touch of callow collegiate smugness here and there.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: According to WebPageTest it took 5.562 seconds to start rendering the page. This is for a website on a computer—not some smartphone. I didn’t get any kind of percentage indicator (using Google Chrome), but the lady started talking when the page finally loaded. I didn’t get any stuttering on Google Chrome, but I did get some with Firefox 5. The page loaded much faster in Firefox 5 than Chrome. However, in the history of the internet there has never been a page that automatically plays a video or has some kind of talking avatar that was worth listening to. Ever. It’s a stupid concept and, fortunately, the videos on the subpages don’t automatically run. You have to click to make them run.

I couldn’t figure out how to make the waitress stop speaking until I saw a note that told me to click on her body. Of course, if you go to a subpage and come back to the home page, she starts speaking all over again. It’s a nice looking site so I can’t imagine these people don’t know about cookies and how to use them to shut her up.

According to AccessColor there are contrast problems with the light blue links.

I will give them immense props for making the top menu easy to read. Too many sites (Google for one) have hard-to-read, white-on-black menus.

Syracuse Diners

Posted in Daily Sucker, Usability, Web Design |

Put the Damn Day of the Week On Your Events – Bad Web Design Example #1 for June 30, 2011

June 30th, 2011 12:12 am by Vincent Flanders

Vincent Flanders’ comments: I click a link that goes to SeoMoz’s MozCon SEO seminar. Here’s what I see along with some notes about how I felt. Granted, I could have scrolled down and found the information. As Steve Krug brilliantly pointed out, “Don’t Make Me Think.” Or as I like to say, “Don’t Make Me Freaking Think.” James Robert Johnson has better examples—not to mention a better explanation of the problem—in his article “Please print the day of the week along with the date.”

BTW, don’t put any kind of dates on your articles. Jakob Nielsen’s brilliant article F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content loses a lot of its luster—incorrectly—when you see it was written on April 17, 2006 (it was a Monday but it serves no purpose putting that in the article). Still, you automatically think, “This is old research and I’ll discount it.”

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

New Jersey State Fair – Bad Web Design Example for June 29, 2011

June 28th, 2011 11:11 pm by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: This site was done “professionally. It was designed to be maintained by a volunteer; not clear how that happens.

It has the most cumbersome navigation of any site I’ve ever come across (scrolling within a scrollable page? WTF!).

The organization’s logo looks like a knock-off from the Burger King breakfast menu. It takes a ridiculously long time to load, and for what? A crappy image map that isn’t clear at all.

If you can find useful information in less than five clicks, congratulations!

Vincent Flanders’ comments: The 1,489,362-byte image map takes a long time to load and the focal point is a cock rooster. That’s not the kind of cock rooster people want to wait to see load. If people have to wait that long, they want to see naked and/or dead bodies.

The subpage navigation is very strange. It consists of “scrollbars,” but they’re on the left side. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. The home link is the Rooster on the bottom right of the page. The bottom right? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, either. If you go to the Sponsors page and click on the Rooster, you’re not taken back to the home page, but you are taken to a weird looking error page. They’ll fix it, so here it is in all its glory.

New Jersey State Fair

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

Burbage Carnival – Bad Web Design Example #2 for June 28, 2011

June 28th, 2011 12:12 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: This one is absolutely FOUL.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: Incredibly foul. Does it look like the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s website? (This is my baseline website) No. Then it should.

Note: I’m not saying every site should copy IMA’s design. I’m saying, it’s a clean, effective design and you should strive for that type of design.

Burbage Carnival

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

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