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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.

Sarcasmistan – NSFW – An Example of Bad Web Design for November 12, 2012

November 12th, 2012 3:03 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: As far as bad taste goes, my candidate is on par with The Afterlife, though at least it won’t trigger epilepsy attacks.

Better close other tabs before opening this web page in Firefox (under 64-bit Windows 7); it brings down the browser despite the available 16 GB of RAM.

This is a 2.6 MB heavy HTML page containing nearly 4,000 image links in one huge table.

Each image is shown as a 200 x 200 thumbnail, but the referenced pictures are full-size images averaging 100 Kb. That means that the renderer has to handle no less than 400 MB of data to display the page.

So you can’t blame Mozilla for the crashing of Firefox. Firefox faithfully tries to load all the resources on the page and the renderer simply can’t handle the 400 MB. You can start loading the page though, but make sure to abort it after a couple of seconds.

Since most pictures are not square, the scaling to a square distorts them, with an extreme example at the bottom left of the screen. This is a 454 x 12,432 pixel JPEG image, weighing in 2.2 MB. Horizontally it’s scaled by a factor of 2, vertically by a factor of 60.

Internet Explorer doesn’t crash because it quickly stops downloading images. If you try to save the complete web page, IE downloads the images one after another without rendering them, yet it also gives up after 2 hours(!) of downloading, and removes the 2,700 images it got so far (260 MB).

I estimate the whole page to be around 500,000 pixels high, so it’s no surprise the screen capture program SnagIt also “failed scrolling capture”.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: There’s nothing funny about this website. In fact, there are a lot of “humor” websites who use the same horrible web design techniques.

I ran the page through WebPageTest and the page crashed the test. It stopped at 10Mb and 25,000 DOM elements. The Page Speed Optimization Test scored a marvelously low 19 out of 100. The page is a big, fat POS, which is what an old girlfriend once called me. Hmm.

Sarcasmistan NSFW

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

The ‘I’m having my annual bout with bronchitis’ Daily Suckers for November 8, 2012

November 8th, 2012 2:02 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Vincent Flanders’ comments: On average, I get bronchitis once a year. This year I got it going out trick or treating with my grandson. As long as I don’t die, it was worth it (I was hospitalized with bronchitis a couple of years ago). If I die, well…that sucks.

I’m going to provide several Daily Sucker candidates without screen shots or my commentary. The folks who submit sites are cool and know what they’re talking about.

1. Uncle Bill’s Bike Shop

I have a contender for you, this site sheared two of my five senses, left me permanently cross-eyed, made my ears bleed and dulled my mental capacity to the point that I have forgotten what this email is about.

Uncle Bill’s Bike Shop

2. Hobby Insider

Submitter’s comments: It’s the 1990’s, man.

Hobby Insider

3. Showeb

Submitter’s comments: Ran across this when looking for puppets.


4. The Anderson

Submitter’s comments: Found this hopeless website. Tried to look for opening times. Good luck!

The Anderson

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

Universal Products – An Example of Bad Web Design for October 26, 2012

October 26th, 2012 5:05 am by Vincent Flanders

A bad website

Submitter’s comments: The useless splash page, which you’ll love covers an old website with readability issues. The weird thing is that they show lots of images of brochures, so I expected to be PDF-bombed, but all their brochures are posted as graphics

They do such cool stuff, especially for cars, that the splash page is a double fail, the more I think about it.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: The term “useless splash page” doesn’t need the word “useless” because that’s an unnecessary modifier. There are very few occasions where you need a splash page: multi-lingual / multinational websites and “sin” websites — liquor, porn, gambling, adult, tobacco, etc. This is a normal business website so that makes this site a FAIL. It’s a double FAIL because it uses a different form of Mystery Meat Navigation. Instead of clicking the globe to enter the site, which is a natural reaction, you have to click the spinning text. That’s bad enough, but you might need to click when the text is rotating and you can’t read the links. DOUBLE FAIL. Here’s what the home page looks like on an iPhone. TRIPLE FAIL. When you’re on a many of the subpages and you click the “Home” link, you’re taken back to the splash page. QUADRUPLE FAIL. The navigation on the subpages is also Flash-based. PENTA? (QUINQUE?) FAIL.

The menu on the Digital Media page is almost impossible to read. The website is pretty much a FAIL.

Universal Products

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

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 |

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