The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

To start off my Web Design I class, I ask students to take a look at the web in order to first see what's good, what's bad, and what's ugly. What keeps you interested, what turns you away. These are the examples they chose.

- Andrew Ross, instructor

THE GOOD

Sites that exemplify good design, ease of use, excellent content, or interest.

THE BAD

Sites that have design flaws or are difficult to use and navigate, yet they can be put up with if necessary.

THE UGLY

Just plain terrible! What were these people thinking. Poor design, ugly sites, terrible navigation.

digg.com

- clean
- intuitive
- easy to use

wikipedia.org

- tons of information about everything
- easy to understand
- easy navigation

- Sarah, Amanda J, Matt, Amanda M, and Zach

comingsoon.net

The website has a set color scheme and the background image does not take away from the main information. This site also contains easy navigation and an organized table of different selections.

google.com

Plain and simple, and very easy to use. A search engine that makes access to different information easy for people who use the site.

- Jessica, Mary, Jose, Jason, and Justin

netflix.com

good use of navigation and well organized, user friendly

miribenari.com

beautiful well designed website. It has a creative loading page and the navigation works well.

- Monica, Chad, Tochi, and David

passion-pictures.com

flash, variety of backgrounds, consistency, easy to navigate

www.redbullcopilot.com

catchy, addictive content, interactive, great color

- Cassaundra, Abby, Tina, and Santiago

wallaceandgromit.com

- good and consistent design throughout
- great navigation
- usability: ease of use
- although lots of images and videos, the website loads rather quickly
- fun and entertaining

- Honey, Bob, Justin, and Ben

wholefoodsmarket.com

Is neatly organized- gives a great deal of information but keeps page minimal. Design is in character- for example text colors are associated with nature, organics etc.

- Leah, Rachel, and Caitlin

endless.com

This site is pretty innovative. It has a zoom feature that shows an impressive amount of detail on nearly a whole 360 degrees around the shoe. The functions for sorting and searching are nice and load quickly.

- Phil, Jeremy, and Iasha

lspace.com

This was a good web site because it has a very good look to it and its catchy. Also, it is very informative and organized. It was very easy to navigate and had many different options. The fact that it sells bathing-suits and has many pictures is an added plus too.

- Kara and co.

arcadefire.com

The site is interactive and designed well.

- Kathleen, Karenina, Mireia, and ?

whitneybiennial.com

This site is an interactive architectural space. Its form mimics the layout of a museum, featuring digital works of art on its walls that are animated once selected with the cursor. Rooms can also be explored by moving the cursor along its length, texturally describing the individual spaces/artworks.

- Savannah, Ashley, Jessica, Rachel

melkadel.com

easy to navigate, artwork and website are consistent and cohesive, interesting texture menu bar is always there and you look at changing images through a window

- Danny, Lauren, Josh

iksurfmag.com

sskiteboarding.com/categories.cfm?id=3

- Paul

google.com (or anything google does)

I like the simple, non-confusing utilitarian aspect of their sites. (would also say wikipedia.org for the same reason, sleek and simple to use, but my group decided it was bad because of its unreliability and therefore ease of use was a bad thing)

homestarrunner.com

(although flash) - Simple, sleek. What you are most likely looking for is in the top right corner with a 'last updated' date. Also weekly changes are linked at the top of the menu.

- Bryant

digitalarkivet.uib.no

This one is good because of the wealth of information stored on it that a few years ago one would have had to travel to Norway to get the information, which isn't even in one central location yet.

ocw.mit.edu

This one is good, again, because of the information. All the notes, lectures, and tests from all of MIT's classes are posted on the Open CourseWare page.

 

- Melissa

flaminglips.com

coke.com

- Michael

read.nassau.lib.fl.us

Each tab describes exactly where you are going. The information you want isn't hard to find. Things don't pop up out of nowhere, only what you click.

ebgames.com

Everything the customer is interested in knowing is right there on the first screen. It's very easy to navigate and visually see. You can also search easily if you don't feel like clicking. It has enough images without being too overwhelming.

- Della

jason-brooks.com

I like the overall design of the website. I think it is easy to navigate, and besides the annoying white flash from the flash, I think it loads relatively quickly for all the images. Also showing the thumbnail illustrations that can be enlarged by the user is convenient.

whitehouseblackmarket.com

I also like the simplicity of this web site. I think it is very clean and easy to navigate. Because it is a retail site they keep the information and pictures updated and they also provide company and contact information.

- Megan

mindycarpenter.com

teeshamoore.com
suzannesbarge.com

When trying to determine what made a site 'good' I realized there were an infinite number of qualifications, all of which could change drastically depending on a persons personality, interests etc. So for me - I simply narrowed it down to a clean, classy and organized site; one quite similar to my tastes and one that I thought would be attainable as a site I could create for myself.

- Melissa

allmusic.com

As long as one can overlook the couple of banner ads, this is an amazing database site with a ridiculous amount of information concerning musicians and bands. I find it particularly useful for discographies and for finding new artists within a genre.

markryden.com

Mark Ryden is one of my favorite artists. His web page is clean, quick-loading, visually interesting, and regularly updated!

- Sarah L

studentuniverse.com

1. It is easy to navigate
2. Straight to the point
3. Graphics and Ads do not get in the way of any search features
4. Readable
5. User-Friendly
6. Loads quickly

- Samantha

comcast.net

This site is well organized showing a large amount of information without causing confusion. The important, attention grabbing elements are right at the top. The website theme is consistent from page to page. Everything loads quickly.

thefwa.com

Well organized and easy to navigate. The thumbnails are a great size to see many pictures at a glance. I would like the text to be darker in some places, but overall it is very readable and consistent from page to page. Simple and easy to use, I'm not overwhelmed and don't get lost.

- Angela

digg.com

- Michael

etsy.com

this site is shop where anyone who makes handmade things can sell. it has a ton of content, however, it is easy to find what you're looking for. they have a detailed search engine on the menu bar, or the have many categories on the side menu bar. they have endless ways to find what you're looking for... including a fun to navigate color finder.

haveamint.com

this is a site for a "hit counter" software for a site. for a site that has a lot of content, it is concise and easy to find. i also enjoy how the url for each section is just the home page plus the name of the section
(i.e. www.haveamint.com/contact).

- Sarah R

sephora.com

The design of this website truly reflects the atmosphere of their stores. Clean design and black/white motifs make for a very sophisticated appearance. The organization of individual categories of make-up is also very maneuverable.

- Elizabeth

nestea.com

This site is great! It's organized, attractive, and even though there's a flash animation, it's only in the middle and the menus are still available even while the animation is playing.

- Tara

overstock.com

this site is easy to navigate through and well organized, has a clean layout

- Jessica

homestarrunner.com

Devoted animators/wb-designers presenting a unified and entertaining body of work.

liveplasma.com

Excellent visual ordering of high density information.

- Doug

tallyhouniforms.com

- unprofessional looking (cheap)
- distracting animation

lingscars.com

- no focal point
- too many colors
- no organization

- Sarah, Amanda J, Matt, Amanda M, and Zach

brillpublications.com

A site that has too many graphics that if one were to visit this site they would not know what exactly the site is used for. Also, each page takes awhile to load and will eventually make the viewer lose interest and leave the site.

- Jessica, Mary, Jose, Jason, and Justin

teacherxpress.com

not addictive design, way too much type, makes us not want to read it, doesn't seem well organized

lrtgroup.com

bad layout, can't even buy anything online, way too much useless information, contact information on bottom

- Monica, Chad, Tochi, and David

wherever.com

too simple; hard to navigate, errors

kids-learn.org

plain, colors are terrible

dogbreedinfo.com

little info, cluttered by ads

- Cassaundra, Abby, Tina, and Santiago

talcam.com

- inconsistency and lack of unity in page design
- very confusing to understand and stressful to navigate: this site has three actual home pages
- links are not obvious: words on left of page are not links but instead descriptions of what they have to offer links are found in the center of the page instead, under large images by clicking on very large buttons

- Honey, Bob, Justin, and Ben

bearcreekmusicfestival.com

Good design, well organized, but important (coming soon!) information is missing.

- Leah, Rachel, and Caitlin

systemsoular.com/LifeProgram

Web art site that is hard to access. Unless you know the URL it's impossible to reach on its own. The load times are also quite long.

- Phil, Jeremy, and Iasha

freearcade.com

There were several things that make this web site a bad one. First, it is way to overcrowded with information and not well organized. Second, when you click to look at games you get information and pop ups that aren't needed. Last but not least, it is not memorable and is ugly to look at.

- Kara and co.

saltinstitute.org

The home page is confusing because you can't destinguish links. The black background with small white text is hard to read.

- Kathleen, Karenina, Mireia, and ?

fredfrap.com

This site is a single page containing an obnoxious violet background and three lines of red text. The site clearly announces "click image to enter", but there is neither an image or anything to enter.

- Savannah, Ashley, Jessica, Rachel

thecolorofpaloalto.com

good graphic but unfiished since 05 no other pictures just text, plain, boring

- Danny, Lauren, Josh

proptalkrugby.com

wunderground.com

- Paul

espn.com

cluttered, too much information, not enough structure

nbc.com/Heroes

again, very very cluttered, almost everything is a link so any random click will send you to a new page and if you happen to be watching an episode online (if you can find the one you want) you are reset as a consequence. also all the links are pictures which are over done. looks like they were trying too hard.

- Bryant

about.com

The layout here is not appealing to me. Even though there is a wealth of information, I do not want to use the web page because I don't like looking at it.

virtual-condolences.com/Robel.html

This one is bad just because of the music playing in the background as well as the fact that condolences, I feel, are something that should be given in person or hand written... not a Facebook-style post on the internet.

- Melissa

apo.org

bsatroop37.com

- Michael

bodybuilding.com

When you click on different pages you have to scroll all the way down before it has a button to go back to the top. The pages look overcrowded with information.

fisheye-design.net

It's bland and took a little while to load on my computer. I don't know if it's the same for everybody. Seems easy to navigate, but I wouldn't go there unless I knew it was there.

- Della

drfun.com/lani-kai/

I think this website is bad for a few reasons. Fist off, it lacks a lot of information that might be the whole reason why someone would pull up their website; example: under the night club and lounge there is not additional information, just a picture. Someone might be looking for age requirements, hours, events, anything. Also, after opening the virtual tour link, 3 times it crashed my entire browser.

- Megan

imbored.com

artellawordsandart.com

These sites simply just turned me off within SECONDS! Couldn't get away from them fast enough.

maggietaylor.com

turn offs - annoying bird that loops across screen and icons/buttons at the top of the screen with no description - so you have no idea where it will take you when you click it!!

- Melissa

fark.com

I actually am a regular visitor to Fark because it never ceases to amuse me, but the site design isn't the best. If one doesn't have much patience it can be frustrating to sift through all of the headlines. It's difficult to keep one's place and all of the text starts to look the same during an extended visit.

littleappledolls.co.uk

This site is informative but in my opinion far too busy and graphics-heavy. The chaotic design overshadows the information and I find the frame sitting right smack in the middle of the page to be ugly and distracting.

- Sarah L

mtv.com

1. Has slow flash intro page
2. Takes forever to load once you click on the main page
3. Crowded ads and banners, along with videos and news scrolls
4. Multimedia videos play on the side tool bar and stall the loading process of other important things on the site
5. Search feature is big and easily readable, but takes too long to search because each page has too many graphics
6. Grey text on Black background- sometimes hard to read
7. Layout is too complex and very disorganized

- Samantha

butterflywebsite.com

"Family of Nature Websites" is written twice one right on top of the other and both are overly decorated with leaves and animals that it is cluttered and difficult to read. The text stretches across the entire page, my eyes get lost half way through the page. "Butterflies of Germany and Austria" link does not work!

flashinsights.com

It seems this website isn't really finished. The portfolio is nonexistent and they offer things that are "N/A at this time." I figured out how to turn off the sound, or so I thought, but there are continual thumping and static sounds correlating with the flashing lights. I'd really like to figure out how to turn off the flashing lights, it's hard on the eyes. I realize that the flashing lights are part of the page concept, but over all it takes away from being able to enjoy staying at this site.

- Angela

canonians.com

- Michael

equalstudio.com

this site is a design company's site. it's hard to tell by the poorly constructed site. there is no navigation menu. although the info is all there on the homepage, it seems overwhelming and i would prefer not to read it.

officemax.com

while on a search for ink cartridges, i came across this site. however, the excess or lists and categories turned me off from this site.

- Sarah R

verizonwireless.com

This site, although it looks nice, is a bad site because if you're an actual customer trying to find information it's very difficult to find the actual information you're looking for.

- Tara

enchantedlearning.com

very outdated, there is nothing at all "enchanting" about this website!!

- Jessica

marines.com

Loading time, navigation -- content... pointless.

ushida-findlay.com

Great for look = no practical purpose.

- Doug

havenworks.com

- too cluttered
- too much information
- bad color scheme

- Sarah, Amanda J, Matt, Amanda M, and Zach

bargainsla.com

Too much information on one page and very busy. Also, contains loud colors and too much of advertisement.

megstoybox.com

Contains too many boxes (grids within grids). The top of the page does not have an eye catching title to lure viewers in.

- Jessica, Mary, Jose, Jason, and Justin

thebiguglywebsite.com

this website has plain unimaginative text, lots of clashing colors, no focal point, too many moving images and the navigation leads you to a lot of dead links.

tracyskarate.com

the black background and red text does not work well together, not organized, the first page keeps going and going

- Monica, Chad, Tochi, and David

craigslist.org

too much material, plain, no color

www.gubble.com

worthless content, too low maintenance

- Cassaundra, Abby, Tina, and Santiago

yokotapanthers.com

- very poor design - pages don't se! em to belong to same site
- use of color is horrendous: yellow on black, blue on black, blinding white on black, and dark gray on black
- poor navigation: About Us link is found all the way at the bottom of the page and when clicked on does not provide any additional info than what is already on homepage, in fact, it redirects you to homepage. Some of their pages go to other websites.

- Honey, Bob, Justin, and Ben

dokimos.org/ajff/

Bright flashing rainbow of colors. Lacks direction and purpose.

- Leah, Rachel, and Caitlin

alexchiu.com

Not much you can say about this one. Terrible navigation, terrible alignment, terrible stock spinny animate GIFs. Paranoia very apparent. Enjoy.

- Phil, Jeremy, and Iasha

saveoursetters.org

This web page is extremely ugly. It has no kind of organization or repetition. The colors and layout is very random and don't work well together. Also, the page is overcrowded on the left side and there is to much space on the right side of the page.

- Kara and co.

wetestit.com

The entire page is centered, making it hard to read. Colors aren't harmonious. Important contact info is at the very bottom of the page.

- Kathleen, Karenina, Mireia, and ?

starterupsteve.com/seizurebots/

This site is a riot. View at risk if epileptic.

- Savannah, Ashley, Jessica, Rachel

dokimos.org

overpowering background makes text harder to read, distracting "clip art" graphics annoying rain audio, poor organization

- Danny, Lauren, Josh

hollybluff.com

beardieagilitydiehards.org

- Paul

apod.nasa.gov/apod/

while simple and informative and interesting... the site is boring, very limited color scheme and hasn't changed in nearly a decade. For a government site, NASA isn't polished whatsoever.

myspace.com/(anyone's personal page)

so many little things that get added to these pages, and forced to listen to music, and background images that are out of control and... just very messy as a rule and unneccessary.

- Bryant

michaelcarey26.net

I think he tried, but it needs more design work to be appealing.

tcc.itc.it/people/kamstrup.html

This one merely just has the information posted on it with no thought toward design.

- Melissa

Yahoo.com

fsuaphio.com

- Michael

a-gay-christian-testimony.com

What isn't ugly about this site. There is no color scheme. Horrible navigation system. Music plays over and over driving one crazy. I found it to be annoying and a little scarey.

dokimos.org/ajff

The colors are flashing everywhere. It hurts one's eyes. I think some of the pages have music. There is no one specific theme throughout the pages, just whatever they thought looked good I guess.

- Della

smokymtns.com/jandb/

This site was last updated in 2006, but it is very ugly and looks like it was made 10 years ago. It has a horrible design, they don?t have a flexible table or text column borders, and there are obnoxious and horribly placed flashing graphics throughout the site. The link tabs are sloppy and they use horrible grammar.

- Megan

voo-doo-cafe.com

well, I think the title pretty much explains it.

- Melissa

amysol.com

Are you kidding? This is the site for an artist??

thetartgallery.com

Ok, admittedly this isn't all that ugly. It's more just boring, which makes me sad and also makes baby Jesus cry.

- Sarah L

fsu.edu

1. Web lay out changes as you click on a different link
2. Toolbars switch from left side to right side on different links
3. Search feature is easy to use but hard to see on main page.
4. Text sizes vary on each page
5. Some links are hidden or hard to find
6. Not user-friendly
7. "Quick Links" location on website varies depending upon the page

- Samantha

aiseikai.or.jp

This site is very inconsistent. There are different graphic buttons, flashing different colors makes it difficult for my eyes to look at and read the page. There are also misspellings and bad translations.

bremen.weltregierung.org

Maybe this site is supposed to be this way. However, the text is impossible to read with all the over lapping and animated pictures. There are also many pictures that don't load. Bad navigation, finding the click able links on this page is almost impossible.

- Angela

talcam.com

for being a site for creatives, this site does not lend itself to that. the links take you all over the place and the home page is just not aesthetically pleasing. they could have done something cool using the pixelated icons on the home page, but it just looks like a dated site.

horsetacksupply.com

this on-line store is full of underlined links, ugly patterned menu bars, and way too many lists.

- Sarah R

barrysbeanies.com

The text has no hierarchy and the colors for links don't really stand out. The navigation list on the left doesn't have enough contrast and doesn't allow you to pick out the option you are looking for easily. I'm not a fan of the pastel yellow background either...it looks like a melted peep.

- Elizabeth

geocities.com/ed_a_ross/christmas/

Welcome to amateur hour.

angelfire.com/super/badwebs/

Created specifically to point out common web-design problems.

- Doug