Videos About Web Design

Videos from Web Pages That Suck

Over the years, I've made a number of videos discussing web design. A few are simply excerpts from my speeches. Most of the rest were created quickly—many in only one take—because we're talking about bad web design and bad web design should be obvious.

There are many more of my videos on YouTube.

Big Picture Issues

Big picture issues in web design


Doesn't Look Like A Professional

This website doesn't look like it was created by a professional

If you don't look like a professional, people won't do business with you.

ADC — WPTS.TV version.

Where's the Focus?

Glaucoma site is not worth seeing

As the person who submitted the site said, "Between the operatic 'Glaucoma Hymn' that downloads and plays as soon as you come to the main page (with no 'Stop Playing!' button), the bobbing heads of (what I presume are) the AIGS Board in the upper-left hand corner, there's no clear explanation of what this organization DOES on the main page."

The International Association of Glaucoma Associations — YouTube version (0:47)
The International Association of Glaucoma Associations — WPTS.TV version.

Back-End Coding Errors

Back-end coding errors are bad for your website

If your site breaks because of coding errors, people won't feel comfortable buying from your site.

Gandolfo's — WPTS.TV version. Higher quality

Flash- / Ad-Blocking Software

Flash and ad-blocking software can mess up your visitors experience

I use software to block ads, popups, popup ads, and Flash. Lots of folks use these products and it can cost your site money. It can also mess up your design or, in the case of NASCAR, it may improve the look.

NASCAR — YouTube version (2:20)

They Didn't Identify PDF Files With An Icon

You need to identify non-HTML files

If a link is a PDF file or non-HTML file, it must be identified as such.

Bath Junkie — WPTS.TV version.

Separated At Birth (1996)

Your website shouldn't be a copy of another

There are times when two sites look amazingly (suspiciously?) alike.

Separated at Birth — YouTube version (1:51)

Requirements to View Your Web Site

Your website should work with every browser

Forcing people to have Flash, Javascript, cookies, or whatever is not a good idea. If you make it difficult to use your site, people won't use it.

Frontier Airlines WPTS.TV version.

Where's the Focus?

just generally bad

Of course, it's been fixed. Still, you need to see it, understand why everything is wrong and then not make the same mistakes.

Hayden Video Wedding — YouTube version (1:23)

Text Issues

Text issues in web design

There are many different ways you can mess up the text on your site. Here are videos showing a few of the techniques.

Multiple Text Sizes and Colors

don't use multiple text sizes on the same page

Don't mix and match multiple colors and text sizes on the same page.

Multiple text sizes and colors — YouTube version (1:04)
Multiple Text Sizes and Colors — WPTS.TV version.

Lack of Contrast

You need contrast on your web pages

If there isn't enough contrast between the text and the background, people won't be able to read your content.

Unisys — YouTube version (1:25)


Very Bad Contrast

The University of Idaho fixed it, but I have a copy from the old days.

University of Idaho — YouTube version (0:21)

Trailing Text Cursor

Using a trailing text cursor tells everyone you're an amateur

Using a trailing cursor on your web site brands you an amateur.

Dermatology SC — YouTube version (0:27)

Text Doesn't Match Graphics

Your text should match the graphics

You can look pretty stupid when the graphics don't match the surrounding text.

Text Doesn't Match Graphics — YouTube version (1:11)

Graphics Issues

graphic issues in web design

There are lots of ways to screw up your graphics. Here are some good examples of bad graphic design that negatively affect your web pages.

Inappropriate Use of Graphics

Amazon looks a little bit racist

Racial stereotypes at — YouTube version (0:43) — WPTS.TV version

Shadows on Graphics

shadows on graphics should not normally be used

It's not a good idea to use shadows on graphics. This video will show you why.

Shadows on Graphics — YouTube version (1:13)

Graphics Are Too White

Sometime, graphics can be too white.

Graphics Are Too White — YouTube version (0:39)

3-D Graphics

3D graphics are only for amateurs

Just don't do this.

3-D Graphics — YouTube version (0:09)

Excessive Graphics

Too many graphics are a bad web design technique

These graphics detract from the page.

Mary Kay dealers — WPTS.TV version

Most Horrible Banner Ad Ever Created

This is the worst banner ad ever created

Yes it's real. There are bad ads, really bad ads and then there is this ad. It's jaw-dropping bad.

Most Horrible Banner Ad Ever Created — YouTube version (1:37)

Navigation Issues

Navigation issues in web design

Good navigation is essential to a web site's success. These folks missed the lecture.

Bad Navigation Metaphor

Bad navigation

A navigation system built on the concept of a virtual reality room isn't a good idea. Just as you shouldn't play with your food, you shouldn't play around with navigation.

Bad Navigation Metaphor — YouTube version (1:22)

Sideways Navigation

sideways navigation

People don't like to turn their head sideways to read navigation — especially when the contrast is poor. Even their target audience will find this scheme annoying.

Tampax — YouTube version (0:41)

Symbolic Navigation

bad navigation from the Dorsett Police

When you use pictures of buildings for your navigational metaphor, you're in trouble.

Dorsett Police — WPTS.TV version (0.55).

Mystery Meat Navigation

Mystery Meat Navigation is a bad web design technique

Unfortunately, many sites use Mystery Meat Navigation (MMN). A now-defunct article had a great definition of MMN:

Mystery meat navigation (also abbreviated MMN) is a term coined and popularized by author, web designer, and usability analyst Vincent Flanders to describe user interfaces (especially in web sites) in which it is inordinately difficult for users to discern the destinations of navigational hyperlinks—or, in severe cases, even to determine where the hyperlinks are. The typical form of MMN is represented by menus composed of unrevealing icons that are replaced with explicative text only when the mouse cursor hovers over them.

Flanders adopted the epithet mystery meat because, like the unidentifiable processed meat products historically served in many American public school cafeterias, MMN is unfathomable to the casual observer. Before conceiving the term mystery meat navigation, Flanders temporarily described the phenomenon as Saturnic navigation, a phrase named for the Saturn Corporation, whose web site formerly served as a high-profile example of this web usability problem.


Using butts as navigation is not smart

Using human butts as navigation brings new meaning to Mystery Meat Navigation <grin>.

YouTube videoToto (2:05)


mystery meat navigation

An early example of Mystery Meat Navigation from late 1999 or early 2000.

YouTube videoOXO (2:02)

Mathew Mahon

Mathew Mahon likes Mystery Meat

Stupid Mystery Meat Navigation. Oops. "Stupid" is an unnecessary modifier.

Mathew Mahon — YouTube Version (1:18)

Crumpler Bags

This is a very strange web site

The #2 worst Mystery Meat Navigation site for 2006.

Crumpler Bags — YouTube Version (1:15)
Crumpler Bags — WPTS.TV version.

Diners Club

Mystery Meat Navigation at the Diners Club

The 10th worst web site of 2006,

Diners Club — YouTube version (0:42)

University of Calgary

Mystery Meat Navigation at the University of Calgary

They fixed the site. This is what it used to look like.

University of Calgary — YouTube version (0:45)

Optimal World

horrible web site

It's amazingly bad. Also won Worst Navigational Web Site of 2006.

Optimal World — YouTube version (1:21)
Optimal World — WPTS.TV version. (1:22)

SEO Issues

Search Engine Optimization is a key element in web design.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Vincent Flanders tells you all you need to know.

SEO Secrets — YouTube version (2:24)

Miscellaneous Issues

Jakob Nielsen is godlike but this isn't

Just what it says - a catch-all category.

Not Testing Your Registration Links

Jakob Nielsen didn't want you to register for his seminar.

Not Testing Your Registration Links — YouTube version (1:15)
Not Testing Your Registration Links — WPTS.TV version.