We may not judge a book by the cover, but we always judge a business by its website. This is the reality and we have to deal with it.
Back in time, in the early days of the Internet, creating a website was something that only IT guys were capable of making. With today’s advancement of technology and increasing interest for better and easier solutions when designing websites, almost anyone can design websites without much effort or any coding know-how.
However, this also brings some inconveniences since not everyone understands the concepts and principles of website-building. Therefore, sometimes the creativity goes too far away either due to lack of knowledge or experience or simply laziness.
In order to solve this problem, some companies have created website builder apps. Most of them have pretty nice templates, responsive designs, many options for customizing them, and can be used to create attractive websites with a few clicks of a button. But what most people tend to forget is that a website builder is merely a tool. If you don’t have the right vision and you don’t know the design principles, then you will most likely fail to make your site eye-catching, functional, and efficient.
Instead of having a website conveying the right message to your audience, you will get something that will either make people laugh or ask what was in the designer’s mind. Either way, your visitors will leave your web page without giving you any second chance.
Before listing the worst websites I have found on the Internet, let me be clear about some things:
– Firstly, I don’t mean to cause any trouble or pain to anyone, and I am certainly not making fun of web designers. Therefore, I beg the developers of the listed sites not to take offense at my remarks. I am quite sure some of these sites are designed by beginner designers. We all have to start somewhere. Besides, mistakes easily occur if you don’t have any experience.
– Secondly, I’m not talking about those websites that are just too old and haven’t been updated since their inception. Those sites may look unappealing to us now, but surely, they were created while considering the design principles of their time. But if it happens to display some old designs, it may also be because there is something in the design that’s plainly terrible and hideous.
I have listed these websites keeping in my mind several design principles:
- Easy to understand navigation;
- Proper use of color;
- Right use of animation;
- An easy-to-use layout;
- An aesthetically-pleasing model;
- Appropriate to the topic;
- The design elements do not hinder content;
- Great content that’s easy to find, navigate, consume, and share.
Simply put, the main idea is that I don’t want to shame anyone. Taking into consideration that we are all used to finding and appreciating the best website designs, I think we should also analyze awful designs and learn from such painstaking mistakes.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some websites that are hilariously terrible:
1. Penny Juice (link to www.pennyjuice.com/htmlversion/whoispj.htm)
Penny Juice is a fruit juice concentrate that’s made specifically for childcare centers, preschools, etc. When you get to the website, the first thing you need to do is to choose which version you want to use: either HTML or Flash. Choose wisely!
Once you have chosen the version you want to use, you get to the next page with a simple menu structure and flashy colors that irreversibly hurt your retina. You will also find a copyright notice since 2001-2002. That should explain the horror, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
All of this looks pretty innocent until you click to visit a particular page on the site. That’s when your monitor bursts out. The color scheme is completely overwhelming and drowns the little information left about the product. It is also extremely challenging to navigate through this website, with small links hidden at the bottom of the page.
2. Yale University School Of Art (link to http://art.yale.edu/)
You would expect a college art school to have a lovely website that reflected the kind of education you could get from there. Therefore, you would assume Yale’s site was more appealing to your visual senses. Instead of this, the website leaves you wondering if you are really in the right place.
It uses Ruby on Rails, and it is updated by the faculty and students quite often. But the tiled images in the background and the horrible font choices are just inexcusable. The navigation is pretty user-friendly, but the ghastly use of animated backgrounds is enough to put you off.
3. Patimex (link to http://www.patimex.com/)
This website looks and sounds bad from the very beginning – starting with allowing running Adobe Flash player if you want to enter. OK, maybe if you take each element separately, that wouldn’t be too terrible. But if you put them all together and add the music, then YES – it’s THAT bad. If you go to their actual site (www.wegieldrzewny.pl), it looks quite normal. But this only makes you wonder: “Why is the devil grilling himself in a floating BBQ? What’s with that music? Why? Seriously… Why?”
4. Ling’s Cars (link to www.lingscars.com)
Ling Valentine, the owner of Ling’s Cars, first appeared on the BBC program Dragon’s Den in 2006. The Metro named Lingscars.com as “the worst and weirdest website on the internet” and taking a look at it, I can understand why. It’s filled with flashing graphics, gaudy patterns, and bubble writing.
5. ARNGREN (link to www.arngren.net)
OK, this is probably the ugliest and most confusing website I have ever seen. The enormous quantity of tiny pictures and links does not help us understand the purpose of this web page. When designing your site, remember that less is more. And this is the best example.
6. Uglytub (link to http://uglytub.com)
Are you thinking of replacing your old bath tub? Then you should do it because this website doesn’t really convince you to do otherwise. A combination of flashing poor quality imagery, tiny fonts, and garish colors in conjunction with the limiting frames minimizing the site to a small window in the center of the screen sure makes this the worst offenders on the web.
7. Jamilin (link to www.jamilin.com)
Jami Lin “Love Love, LOVES helping you to evolve” but maybe she could use a little of her own advice to revamp her website. Collages of images, videos, links, adverts, and copy are all crammed into the center of the site. This surplus of images and text is a little overwhelming and blocks the clear navigation
8. Gatesnfences (link to www.gatesnfences.com)
At first glance, this Florida-based company has a website that’s stuck in the past. And taking into consideration that you will find a copyright notice of 2004-2008, I think I’m right. At the same time, they’ve decided that the best way to increase the user engagement is to bombard them with A LOT (and I mean A LOT) of information straight on the homepage. Some small, low-quality images are scattered throughout the page, but nothing to break up the huge amount of text. It hurts. Badly. Maybe they should learn that sometimes less is more.
9. James Bond Museum (link to www.007museum.com)
For decades, James Bond has been gracing the silver screen as a charismatic, charming and ultra-slick secret agent. Yet, the website for the James Bond museum is SOOO FAR AWAY from the classy image of the secret agent that it’s offensive. Its stark background and Times New Roman typeface make it obnoxious. Barely expressing the character of Bond himself, the homepage is an overwhelming, sour and incomprehensible mix of menus, hyperlinks, and random imagery.
10. Rudgwick Steam & Country Show (link to www.rudgwicksteamshow.co.uk)
Although this may not be the worst website, it’s still terrible. I think the developers tried to have a responsive design, but they failed miserably. If you visit the website using a phone, it doesn’t look that bad, but if you use a laptop or a desktop, the website looks like an image placed in the center of the screen. What’s more, they’ve chosen a design packed with primary colors and a collage of random images. The relevant information is there, but it is confusing due to the busy layout.
11. Irishwrecksonline.net (link to www.rudgwicksteamshow.co.uk)
In contrast to many websites listed here, this one lacks not just a catchy title, but also text. Larger pictures, a new layout, and functional links would help make this website more inviting and visually-appealing.
12. Constellation 7 (link to www.constellation7.org/Constellation-Seven/Josiah/Index.htm)
OK, I think this is one of the ugliest websites I have ever seen. I’m not kidding. They use a blend of conspicuously bright colors throughout the entire site, bold and colorful typography, and some animations that are making you run as far as you can. Fortunately, they don’t have any music.
13. Mojo Yogurt (link to http://mojoyogurt.com/#/home)
Again, this is a website built using Flash. The whole design wouldn’t be that terrible, had it not been for that horrible, annoying background music, and sound effect that you can’t pause. Just to let you know, dearest Mojo Yogurt, people who visit your website are trying to look for your product, not listen to that awful music.
14. Industrial Painter (link to http://industrialpainter.com)
This company has chosen to have irritating music in the background with no option for you to turn it off. Along with Flash-based, horrible design and low-quality images you get the idea of a terrible-terrible site. I really don’t know how they plan on attracting customers with such a website.1
15. Superior Web Solutions (link to http://industrialpainter.com)
This is the company’s website that built Industrial painter. Taking into consideration that it’s a web design company, I can say it’s even worse than Industrial Painter. That’s mainly because you expect a web design company to know about the latest trends and design. Instead, we find annoying music, along with a non-responsive, flash based, and horrible homepage design. I cannot overstate how horrific this website looks.