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3 shocking website design snafus

It's been a busy last couple of weeks. We have started work on a number of new sites and things are ticking along well. While there have been some interesting developments on the internet scene, I just felt like kicking back a bit this morning and letting some other sites show you just how NOT to do website design.

If you Google "worst websites" you can spend hours being horrified at some of the stuff that appears on the internet. Now I don't normally bag other designer's work, as design is so subjective. But there are basic design rules which need following to end up with a nice website. The following fail to follow these rules (some manage to break nearly all!)

Pacific NorthWest X-Ray

Take our first example, www.pnwx.com. Their copyright in the "footer" says 1997 - 2012. While they may have updated and added products since 1997, I don't think their website "theme" (using the term very loosely) has changed since then. The site suffers from poor contrast between background and links. And the background...... where did they get it from? What about that horrible animated gif in the header and the shockingly bad header text?

The link "Why we're the best" just begged to be clicked - this I wanted to see!! As expected, it's a page of self-congratulatory nonsense. The even have the audacity and shamelessness to trumpet that they offer hosting, and they do their website in-house. They aren't "...forced to use web authoring programs like Frontpage..." they say. What? Who uses Frontpage? I've seen bad Frontpage sites that are way better than this one. A jumble of colors, poor contrast, confusing linking, and a general 1990s feel make this a real "winner".

Water Services Ltd

WARNING!!! Cheesy music plays instantly! http://www.arvanitakis.com/en/index.htm This could be every bit as bad as the preceding one! It opens with a huge no-no... auto play music (auto play videos are bad too). But why would designers seriously think we need music when we visit their site? It's annoying, unnecessary and adds nothing to the visitor experience. Then we are assaulted by a bunch of confusing movement - rotating worlds, waving, flaming swords, walking bears, some carousel menu (it links to galleries I found out) and, worst of all, industrial pollution belching from smokestacks! What we they thinking?
Oh then there's the proud 35 years graphic (35 years in business maybe?) - what's happened to the last 3 years? And the annoying bear graphic offering NEW YEAR gifts... please!

The Wedding Collective

WARNING!!! Cheesy music plays instantly! The final offering, http://www.theweddingcollective.org/. Again, bad auto-start music, but this time combined with a splash page (impossible to SEO well for) and Flash! Oh my, this page scores a 10/10 for bad, bad design! In fact, the whole site is Flash, but combines it lovingly with badly thought out, and confusing, navigation, and, quite frankly, left me wondering what the site was all about. It seems to be a play or film, but I really questioned why this site exists. With 80 million odd iOS users, this site is a sad joke. Go try viewing this disaster on an iPhone or iPad.

Good link/bad link
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