Worst Websites of 2010: The Contenders

Here are the contenders

It's hard for me to believe, but it looks as if bad web design wasn't as bad in 2010 as it has been during the last 14 years. Plenty of bad websites still exist and since I have the cleverest readers out there, I have an almost never-ending supply of suggestions.

To paraphrase the great American philosopher Jerry Lee Lewis, there's still "A whole lotta sucking going on." I think Jerry Lee said that. I could be wrong.

In keeping with our theme of "On our 15th year of sucking" (it's now up to 19 years), I've chosen the 15 worst contenders for 2010. These sites were featured as The Daily Sucker during January through early September 2010.

Obviously, the sites that follow aren't examples of great web design.

1. Yale School of Art

#1 contender for worst web site of 2010

Ended up as #2 on Worst Websites of 2010

2. joneschijoff

#2 contender for worst web site of 2010

This may be the best example of head-up-your-ass web design I've ever seen. WTF?

This site ended as #1 Worst Website of 2010 - User Interface / Navigation

5. George's Township Civil Defense EMS & Fayette_County_Ambulance_Service Fayette-EMS 306

#5 contender for worst web site of 2010

Submitter's comments: This is the website for a town's ambulance service—the people who are supposed to save your ass if you have a medical emergency—in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Not only is the design bad, but the content would make me move out of the area in fear of my life.

“Shortage of body bags?” WTF?

Vincent Flanders' comments: We all make grammar mistakes, but this is a little much:

Both Apparatus and patient care equipments is need. shortage on body bags also

We also have what appears to be loon ravings at the top of the page. WTF?

Other comments #1: The page is roughly 17,622 pixels wide in Internet Explorer. I will not say "It can't get any worse than this," because it always does. The chicken scratch was red in my window.

Other comments #2: Yeah, that top part definitely had me thinking "hacked." But that can't explain all of it… I just found myself staring numbly, wondering "Did whoever created this even LOOK at the result?"

The website has been disabled due to a billing issue.

Here's an 8Mb screenshot of George's Township Civil Defense EMS & Fayette_County_Ambulance_Service Fayette-EMS 306

7. relogik

#7 contender for worst web site of 2010

I'm so very, very tired of beautiful websites where I can't read the text.

Where's the Contrast? All clueless web designers should read Wikipedia's definition of contrast. (Another site gives a great visual demonstration of contrast.)

There's no excuse for this mess. If you won't take my word about the need for contrast, take Alistapart's. Between the two of us, you've got the alpha and omega of web design telling you to wo/man up and make your site readable. Oh, here's another well-respected site whose article, Fully Understanding Contrast in Design, is something you ReadTarded web designers should study.

Since I can't read the text and since I refuse to stick my face two inches from the monitor, I'm not sure what the site is about. This site reminds me of the lyrics to a song by the Bottle Rockets (one of my favorite bands):

I wonder if she's real.
I really couldn't say.
But I don't want to know
'cause she's so perfect far away.

You can watch a video of this song at YouTube.


8. Thinking for a Living

Not the #8 contender for worst web site of 2010

Submitter's comments: Now this is nice! It has a beautiful horizontal navigation, which you can control by keyboard, too. It breaks my favorite hotkeys (Alt-left and Alt-right) to navigate backward and forward in my browser.

Just tried to click some post called “Rethink. Redefine. Redesign.” When you're at the utmost left or right position, which you cannot tell as there's no horizontal scrollbar visible, you automatically jump to the next/previous article. And, as you can see at the upper right corner, you can also press the letter ‘s.' No idea where that takes me, but at least it does something. You can even point with your mouse at the letter ‘s' and my browser says that I can click it. I do not dare, as no URL shows up on my status bar, so I don't know what happens.

Oh wait! The ‘s' was the last letter of ‘Issues.' I just had to make my browser window a bit wider. Lucky me that I have a screen capable of 1280 pixels horizontally. But everybody has wide screens, nowadays, don't they? (And lucky me I know how to turn off JavaScript, which disables this crap and results in a normal, vertical page.)

Vincent Flanders' comments: This site conveniently classifies itself as “experimental,” which disqualifies it from being a contender for the list of Worst Websites of 2010—no matter how much the site sucks. And the site sucks much.

The site's content consists of articles. Articles are composed of words. Words need to be presented in a linear fashion and that means top-to-bottom—not horizontally, which requires scrolling (or, in this case, clicking). The navigation goes batshit crazy on the feature pages. This is an information site and people expect to see content presented conventionally. Remember: it's experimental; it sucks and it isn't Number 8 on the Worst Websites of 2010.

The page has contrast problems, as this screen capture by the Juicy Studio Contrast Analyzer demonstrates. Remember: it's experimental; it sucks and it isn't Number 8 on the Worst Websites of 2010.

I hate writing that looks like it came out of dack.com's Web Economy Bullshit Generator. The modus operandi page of not-the-Eighth-Worst-Website-Of-2010 has the following phrase:

We tried to think ahead and create a site that was a paradigm shift in interactivity and turn the traditional blog format on its head–or in this case, on its side.

Paradigm shift? Bullshit. If I want a paradigm shift, I'll stand in front of the San Andreas Fault and wait for the big one. (Yes, I've used "paradigm shift" twice on WPTS, but it's used sarcastically). Remember: it's experimental; it sucks and it isn't Number 8 on the list of Worst Websites of 2010.

Thinking for a Living

9. God Hates Fags

#9 contender for worst web site of 2010

This site has its own article. 'Nuff said.


12. whitehouse.gov

#12 contender for worst web site of 2010

For some reason (boredom?), I decided to look at the White House's home page. The top part of the page looks fine but, as I went down the page, the old bugaboo about contrast popped up. It's troublesome because the White House has a link at the bottom of the page that discusses accessibility. Ironically, the link is difficult to read because of the lack of contrast.

I ran the page through AccessColor and the report said:

Both color difference and color brightness do not meet the recommended standard for 2.88% of the total text.

Either color difference or color brightness does not meet the recommended standard for 20.77% of the total the text.

Text on background with images is for 47.93% of the total text. (Which makes it impossible for them to figure out the contrast levels.)

Here's a screen capture of the results for those who don't want to rerun the test.

Concerning site performance, I ran the home page through Zoompf and here were the results:

Performance issues with the home page of whitehouse.gov

Critical - 1
High - 14
Medium - 14
Low - 16

Here's a screenshot of Zoompf's analysis.

On a more positive note: Whitehouse.gov scored 72 (C) on Yslow and scored an 81 on Page Speed.


13. Rod C. Davis and Jerry Pippin

tied for #5 worst web site of 2010

tied for #5 worst website of 2010

Ended up as #5 on Worst Websites of 2010

14. Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes

#14 contender for worst web site of 2010

I’d expect to see web design like this from one of those creationist types of sites like Creation Museum, Taxidermy Hall of Fame of NC and Antique Tool Museum. It’s nice to know that evolutionists can be just as wacko in their web design.

Other comments #1: A new category of sucker: "Have you ever seen a blog? Ever?" Oh, and "Did you know you could buy your own domain name?"

Other comments #2: <META NAME="GENERATOR" CONTENT="Adobe PageMill 3.0 Mac">

Wow. I haven't seen a tag for PageMill in a long time. A wonderful tool in its day 10+ years ago—which is about the time it looks like this site was created.

I think they could use an update.

Other comments #3: It took 31 clicks to get to the bottom of the page. Might want to archive the older articles. Plus there are more contrast issues than you can shake a mouse at.

Would not take much to clean it up, but it looks like it's more a personal site (by some professor whose background is not web development) than a professional site.

Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes