Worst Websites of 2008 #1-5
Web design is an art. Great web design occurs when design and content are seamless and you don't notice its greatness. With great web design, it's easy to find the information you need. The content makes you want to return again and again and, most importantly, great design gives credibility to the company/organization.
2008 was a good year for bad web design
Like every year since 1996, I hoped that this year would be the year when we'd only have 10-15 sites that were truly awful. Dream on. I suspect I had 130+ candidates for the top ten. I haven't seen so much crap since the guys at Evergreen Plumbing opened my septic tank and let me look inside.
Once again, I had to create multiple lists to cover all the suckiness. Unlike previous years, we're starting in ascending order.
NOTE: It's been seven years since these were first listed. Odds are good some of the sites are fixed.
Categories: WTF?, Navigation, Have You Ever Seen A Website?, Over-The-Top
It's pretty obvious why this site is #1. When someone sees this site, their reaction is the same as my reaction when I first saw it — WTF? — What the Heck? Originally listed as the #3 Contender, it kept on grating on everyone's nerves.
I made a full-size screen capture of the site that weighs in at 37Mb. Amazingly, the web page itself weighs in at only 996.62Kb (on the day I tested it); nevertheless, it's 996.62Kb of crappy design. Have these people ever seen another website? Another news site? A site like MSNBC.com?
Havenworks (it's now dead but this is a version from Archive.org)
1. (Dis-Honorary) Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC
Submitter's comments: This is one of the very few websites that actually should have a black background.
It used to just suck as Archive.org's last captured version of October 19, 2007, demonstrates.
Vincent Flanders’ comments: There are 50 billion reasons why this should be the Worst Website of 2008. The site doesn't really exist any longer so it's a dis-honorary winner.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the favicon on the Archive.org version an American flag? There's a point here. Remove your flags from your website. Now.
2. Fabric Land
Categories: WTF?, Have You Ever Seen A Website?, Old School
The only positive comment I can make is that the navigation in the left frame is basically alphabetical. (Is “basically” good enough? If I were single, would I want to date someone who is “basically” a woman?)
The most important HTML tag — TITLE — is the search-engine-hating “New Page 1.” They shouldn’t feel bad about this gaffe. There are only 5,310,000 other pages on the web that use "New Page 1."
When you first see the site you'll say, "WTF?" and then you'll think, "Have they ever seen another website that sells fabric? One that doesn't suck?"
3. Brill Publications
Categories: WTF? and Navigation
What were they thinking when they created this site? This isn't some cutesy little company with a niche product. This is a real company with real products.
We need to stop the use of skeuomorphic navigation today. Is it possible that there are internet surfers who are so mentally incompetent that they need this type of navigation? Does anybody find it useful? Does anyone think it's clever? Does anyone not hit the back button?
Categories: WTF? and Over The Top
Submitter's comments: After seeing this site, my engagement is off! I now totally, absolutely, 100% vow a life of celibacy.
Vincent Flanders' comments: I remember the priests and nuns at my Catholic grade school telling us that if we thought we were facing immanent death, we should say an Act of Contrition and our sins would be forgiven — or something like that. After viewing this site the only thing that's keeping me alive is the thought of death.
You have to love the keyword stuffing that's going on. Most people try to hide the fact. Because of all the color combinations on the page, they just put the keywords at the bottom. You must click the ENTER YVETTE'S link to see the home page. OMG.
Other comments #1: OMFG. My retinas have been seriously burned by this site and my gay genes are screaming in complete horror. I didn't think a page like this was still in existence past the late 90s, but apparently it is. AND! It's near Tyndall AFB in Florida. Be afraid!
I particularly like the wine bottle in the middle of one of the pages. I personally think it should be a shotgun and moonshine in homage to "give the child a name!" weddings of the South.
Other comments #2: I've been a WPTS reader for a good 8 years now and this one has my vote for Worst Website Ever. Not just for 2008, but EVER. The floating face, every color of the rainbow, the bagpipes, the non sequitur photos. Look at the horrifying MS Paint background on this page.
Yvette's (Dead but a working copy is at Archive.org.)
5. Toto | Washlet (NSFW, probably)
Categories: Nice Butts and Mystery Meat Navigation
Clean is most certainly happy for your behind, but it is not happy for your website! Apart from the multitude of butts that seem to take forever to load and the navigational (faces?) buttons, I would have to say that this site's biggest crime is not having any words.
Since clicking on the link below takes you to Toto's current home page, I created a video capturing the Mystery Meat Navigation in all its meatiness.
Submitter comments: If you're looking at this site at work, the sound has to be muted and that means that this site doesn't actually tell me anything unless I go clicking around. By that time I'm too bored to progress further. By the way, this is the line of toilets that Google outfits their offices with.
Other comments #1: The mere fact that this product exists leaves me with serious doubts about the future of Western civilization. I hope those actors were paid handsomely for delivering those lines with a straight face. The day a toilet seat makes me more confident is the day I book an extra session with my shrink.
Other comments #2: I don't know why, but the talking heads creeped me out a bit, especially when you mouse over them.
Other comments #3: I know why: These people are enthusing about toilets the way other people do about their kids. It's beyond creepy.
Toto | Washlet (MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR WORK) It's been fixed. This is current home page.
5. (Honorary) The Oculus
Categories: WTF? and Mystery Meat Navigation
This was one of the last entries to arrive in my inbox, showing up on December 5. It also was one of the first to disappear because, it turns out, it was a promotional site. How was anyone to know?
I couldn't figure what this site was about. I guessed it was an art site, which means it shouldn’t have qualified as a The Daily Sucker, but it was so egregiously horrible I had to use it.
It’s made with Flash, of course, and it’s called “The Oculus.” The first five times I went there, I couldn’t get past the first screen. Then I clicked “something” and the ball opened up. It seems that what opens up varies. When the squares are big, I never was able to go further. One time, it just seemed to go on its own and I ended up at Miss Vix’s Tattoo Parlor.
This isn’t art. It’s the web equivalent of what happens to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the Saturday Night Live skit — Mr. Mike's Mormons. (MAY BE NSFW. Turn speakers down. You’ve been warned.)
Since The Oculus disappeared soon after it received a Daily Sucker award, all we have is the video.