Still on the subject of the dark side of the web: I found a contest for the ugliest website held last June. The winner, which turned out to be mytastynuts.com, won a free redesign package worth $1800. Now this could have been a little more buzzworthy if the contest and company site itself looked like there had been thought put into the design. Heck, if you ask me, the current mytastynuts.com looks better, and don’t really have the right to be doing redesigns.
Of course, there’s really no harm in entering a contest where a free redesign is up for grabs—even if it ends up being not much of an upgrade at all—but that’s the problem with web design: the threshold’s too easy to cross.
The ugliest website contest would also have gone viral if the site were designed in the ugliest manner possible. Something that looks like this (without looking like they’re ripping you off). But that’s the other problem with web design: not everybody “gets” good design.
- Many have high tolerance for badly designed sites and bad design in general. Put bluntly, they wouldn’t know if something looks ugly even if it hit them in the face. Sometimes design can depend on a person’s instinct and taste, but it can also suck
- Combine that with “it’s just a lowly website”, not something cooler like architecture, fashion, or an ad campaign, and it’s a steep, uphill battle.
- And to top it all off, there’s the thin line between design and decoration, which is the absence of purpose and real content. A website, more than any other designed entity, is nothing without content and function.
Don’t be such a downer
Okay enough with the pessimism. How do we get rid of said problems? Eliminate ignorance, for starters. Buckets of inspiration from CSS galleries and image bookmarking sites are always good to have, but it’s also important to know exactly what we should avoid.
I recommend grabbing some eyedrops before clicking any of the links below:
- Webpages that Suck
- CSS Hell
- CommandShift3’s Worst Ever Websites
- World’s Worst Website Designs
- The Worlds Ugliest Websites!!!
The next step is figuring out why said sites are on the list. But that’s for another (ugly) day.