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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.

George R. R. Martin – Bad Web Design Example for July 7, 2011

July 6th, 2011 10:10 pm by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: This is George R. R. Martin’s official website. Sure this site looks like it comes from 1993, but call me crazy, I think it kind of works. I’d rather see something like this than say, J K Rowling’s mess of a website.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: Two of the scariest words in the English language are “kind of.” I wouldn’t want to drive something that was kind of a car (well, I did own a Chevrolet Vega). Still you get my point. A website works or it doesn’t work. This one doesn’t. That’s why it’s the Daily Sucker.

Except for some Beat Generation writers, my reading tastes end with Euripides. I had no clue about George R. R. Martin’s writings so I looked him up in Wikipedia. Turns out he’s had a successful career, but you’d never know it by his website. It looks amateurish. The color choices are wrong for many reasons, but lack of contrast with the text is the major reason. AccessColor says that almost 67% of the home page fails its tests.

There doesn’t seem to be any navigation on the subpages except to click on his picture. The subpages are ugly, except for the blog page, which only has 20% of its text fail the contrast test. It’s not ugly because it’s on Livejournal and I suspect he used one of their pre-designed templates. I don’t understand what the animations are all about. Perhaps they mean something to his audience. To me, it means he has bad taste.

Maybe this site appeals to his audience. After all, he’s getting around 8,170 visitors a day.

George R. R. Martin

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

I Need Some Left-Wing, Nutjob Websites

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

I may have discovered an interesting social phenomenon: If a website is an Over-the-top Website, it probably belongs to someone who would be classified as a right-winger. I can’t believe right-wingers own the market for whimsical websites. Prove me wrong. Send me some left-wing nutjob websites.

Posted in Not a Daily Sucker, Web Design, Worst Web Sites |

Jeff Rense Program – Bad Web Design Example for July 6, 2011

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

Submitter’s comments: Whaaaattt???? Hopefully anyone checking this out is not looking for anything specific. Good luck finding it in this lifetime.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: When I went to this site I said, “Gee. I think I’ve used this before. The giveaway was the photo of Jeff Rense and his amazing hair. I checked and, of course, I had used it as the Daily Sucker on August 14, 2008. Since the site is so spectacularly bad, I thought it made the list of the Worst Websites of 2008. Nope. Well, I think I should give it another chance. Maybe it will make the Worst Websites of 2011.

For comparison purposes, here’s what his site looked like on August 12, 2008. This is what his site looks like today. Interestingly, AccessColor says today’s site has worse contrast than the one back three years ago. Back in 2008, here’s what I said about the site:

This site belongs to a category I call “Over the Top.” An “Over the Top” web site is just like pornography — you know it when you see it. Accept Jesus, Forever Forgiven (Warning: could cause seizures) is the perfect example.

“Over the Top” web sites generally deal with philosophy, religion, and politics, but they’re not mainstream. Rush Limbaugh’s site would fall into the “Over the Top” category, except he’s mainstream.

While the Jeff Rense Program site is world’s away from the “Accept Jesus” site, it makes use of the stereotypical lime green text intermingled with yellow text. Some text is centered, while other text is flush left and, of course, the page goes on forever. The background for the subpages looks straight out of 1996.

I also don’t know whether to be frightened by or jealous of Mr. Rense’s hair.

It took a long time to find any subpages—most links that I found were to other sites—but the subpage I found looked just fine. Otherwise, what I said in 2008 is valid—with the addition that a lot of the text is harder to read. That might not be a bad thing.

Jeff Rense Program

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

P & A Feed and Pet – Example of Bad Web Design for July 5, 2011

July 5th, 2011 4:04 am by Vincent Flanders

Submitter’s comments: I was looking around for some pet supply stores in my area and stumbled on this beauty.

Vincent Flanders’ comments: It starts off poorly and gets worse. You have the logo on a repeating background. Then you have a strange orange bar going down the left side, which is supposed to be the background. It would have been better to have a similar bar on the right, which would have centered the middle content section.

As you move down you have white text on a black background. It’s not horrible. Then you get to the gold background and all sorts of text problems–text in all caps, multicolored text on the same line, etc. The links are graphics, but not every graphic is a link. A couple of the links go to betteranimals.com–I’m not sure why–but I couldn’t get the site to load because their server timed out. As far as I can tell, it’s a one-page site.

P & A Feed and Pet

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

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 |

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