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

 

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marijuana.org is a dopey web siteGorgeous Websites From The Late 90's To Inspire You — If You Have No Taste

Recently there was an article about how popular web sites looked in the late 1990's. While it's interesting to see what Adobe or Apple looked liked back then, there isn't much you can learn from these sites. I'm also not sure how much inspiration you can get from looking at any kind of good examples. Looking at this middle-aged man is not going to inspire me to get off my rear end (may be NSFW) and excercise, It's going to depress me and I'm going to head toward the refrigerator.


On the other hand, you can really learn from and be inspired by web sites that are featured on Web Pages That Suck — especially those from the late 90's. At the very least, you can learn to take the other direction. More importantly, you'll feel good about your design skills because nobody ever looked at the examples on Web Pages That Suck and said, "I'm a horrible designer because I can't create these kinds of web sites." When you leave this site, you'll feel good about your design skills.

Scene-Clean Version 1

From July 1998.

Scene Clean is amazingly bad

One of the most amazing and inspirational web sites of the 20th Century. God, how I miss these guys. How I miss the theme from Mission Impossible, the animated email icon, and the banner that says:

LOVE FOR SALE $50,000 gets you a whole lotta love.

$50,000 damn well better get me a whole lot of love.

Watch the YouTube video version.
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View the full-size screen capture.

Scene-Clean Version 2.0

From April 1999

Scene clean tries skulls

Upset that they were the Daily Sucker instead of a High Five site, the folks at Scene-Clean came up with a new web design paradigm they thought would make their site a classic — animated skulls.

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Amazon.Com

From April 1999

Oops. Amazon.com goes racist

The inspiration for this April 1999 page might have been white men parading around at night in their white robes. The inspirational part? Barry White's teeth sparkle.

Watch the YouTube video.
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Janus

From April 1998

inspirational web design

It's a great idea to make your customers think that their broker is riding a $4,000 bike instead of managing his accounts. It will inspire them — to take their business elsewhere. From 1998.

Watch the YouTube video.
View the full-size screen capture.

Advanced Tactical Firearms

From April 1999.

Guns aren't the easiest web design topic

When I received the email suggesting this site as a candidate for The Daily Sucker, there was a P.S. that read, "Make sure you turn up the sound on your computer." Like an idiot, I turned up the volume. Oops. I was inspired to jump under my desk.

Watch the YouTube video.
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View the full-size screen capture.

Admissions Department University of Missouri, Rolla

From February 2000

isn't this great web design?

WTF? This is the admissions department for a college not some juiced-up Trekkie. WTF? They changed their name to Missouri University of Science and Technology. Fortunately, they changed this page. Take a look at their current page — it makes sense.

Watch the YouTube video.
Watch the SmugMug video version.
View the full-size screen capture.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

From March 1999.

Army Engineers can't build web pages

If the Army Corps of Engineers builds web sites like this one, then it's only logical that you should be worried about anything else they build.

Watch the YouTube video.
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View the full-size screen capture.

OXO

From September 1999

Another great example of web design

I love OXO products and have lots of them in my house. The folks at OXO really, really loved this design. They were really, really wrong.

Watch the YouTube video.

Marijuana.org

From February 1999

marijuana.org is a dopey web site

This is the classic of all classics.

Watch the YouTube video.
View the full-size screen capture.

Southwest Airlines

From April 1998

Southwest Airlines and their wonderful website

Another example of MYSTifying navigation. This was stupid in 1998 and there are still sites using this same technique today.

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Hope, Arkansas Police Department

From 2000

another inspirational cop site

Q. What is cheap, sleazy, tacky, disgusting, and came out of Hope Arkansas?
A. The Hope Police web site from 1998.

LIke so many cop sites from the 90's, the background music was "Bad Boys."

View the full-size screen capture.

Governor of Oklahoma

From April 1998

the wonderfully inspirational web site of the Governor of Oklahoma

I was being interviewed by a radio station in Oklahoma City back in 1998 and I was asked to give an example of an ugly web site. Guess which site I suggested? Ironically, the creator of the site disagreed. I'm willing to bet serious money s/he now agrees with me.

View the full-size screen capture.