We know we’re late with this subject, but the fact that terrible websites are still being developed even to this day is so amazing, we thought we’d tackle them again. Now there were quite a few stinkers back in last year’s article on the subject, but this year we’ve managed to find yet again some real doozies that we can’t help but look in shock and awe at how awful these sites are…and they were all made un-ironically.

Get ready folks, because here is this year’s recap on the worst websites from 2019. Here we go.

  1. Blinkee

Blinkee.com is all about selling products that blink shiny lights or glow in the dark…and unfortunately, that’s about all we can understand from this website.

While you’re trying to find answers to the most basic questions, you’re bombarded with product images that are animated to blink constantly. Talk about distracting (even seizure-inducing!).

Easily the takeaway from this site’s problems are:

  • Too many animated images, which contribute to slow loading times
  • Poorly rendered images on top of the animation, resulting in ugly design
  • Off-kilter frames of text with the images
  • Lousy category organization; some lead to detailed product info while others lead to another page that includes all the products from that category
  • User-hostile navigation overall
  1. Pacific Northwest X-Ray Inc.

Visit this website before it’s too late, because Pacific Northwest uses the one software that is going to stop being used this year: Flash. As if that wasn’t bad enough already, one glance is enough to drive anyone away from using the site further. Right off the bat, here’s what’s wrong:

  • It relies on Flash for certain designs to work (this will appear as broken later for sure!)
  • No secure SSL address
  • Horrifying colour scheme from the get-go, with every colour conflicting with the next
  • Hardly any explanation as to what their company is all about
  • Poor readability with bad typography that looks like it’s from the 1990s
  1. Ling’s Cars

Here’s an example where the design is so bad, it’s amazing. Ling’s Cars is so cluttered and busy you can’t help but admire the fact it was made on purpose. We particularly love the part on the home page that says “I am a real human being person in Gateshead, you can trust me”.

Funnily enough, the navigation isn’t the worst aspect; you can click through the site and it loads fine. That’s small comfort though considering the design of it all.

We know as soon as you visit this site that what’s wrong with it is obvious, but let’s really cover them for clarity’s sake:

  • Cluttered images that speak against the site, not for it
  • Tons of GIFs, which distract from what the site is all about
  • Too-bright colours that make the text unreadable
  • The constant message of “you can trust me” spread all across the site in text sounds hollow and untrustworthy
  1. Suzanne Collins’ Website

Whether or not you’re a fan of The Hunger Games or any other books Suzanne Collins has written, her website leaves a lot to be desired. It really amplifies the fact that even if you’re successful at what you do for a living, doesn’t mean you have the website skills to match.

As reluctant as we are to add Collins to this list, we have to address what exactly is wrong with this website:

  • Way too much white space. Scroll down past the topmost menus and you will see a ton of blank, unused space even in between her products. It’s as if whoever developed the site gave up midway in their own project!
  • Too small text; if you want to read any of the product descriptions, you’re forced to zoom in by about 200%, both on desktop and mobile (yikes!).
  • Missed opportunities for clickthroughs, lead generation, and purchases in Collins’ favour. You can’t click on the books to see them up close, and any links leading to a purchasing opportunity winds up at a page full of reviews, but no product descriptions. Then, when you do click on a couple of links, they take forever to load. One of them even asks you to download Flash for the best user experience!
  1. Yale University School of Art

Here we have another psychedelic mess that is as representative as the school itself. Not only is Yale’s website ugly upon first glance, but also, to us, it rings several alarm bells in terms of online security.

  • The background and animation scream as 1990s as Ling’s Cars’ website; currently it has the exact same picture lined up to make one practically psychedelic background, which clashes and distracts the viewer. This background has changed over the years, but the effect is still borderline nauseating.
  • The text is also from the 90s, and some of the images of text are displayed at an angle like a bad smartphone photo.
  • The SSL address is not the only non-secure aspect; this site was designed to promote and collect names and e-mails of students for art events, newsletter sign-ups, and discussions. No matter where you sign up on this website, your data is not protected. At all.
  • There is zero responsive design in this site, too. Imagine how the students and faculty must feel having to access this on their phones.

What We’ve Learned

Now, whether or not you’ve actually clicked on each site link to see what kind of mess they are, we do have some key takeaways to share with you:

  • Just because you can build a website yourself, doesn’t mean you should (especially if you don’t know what you’re doing!)
  • The balance between design and text is achievable, but not everyone knows where the line is
  • Flash is dead. We repeat. Flash is dead.
  • Animated features and GIFs are not your friends in 2020
  • Not everyone knows what their brand is all about
  • Not everyone knows how to great good quality content either
  • “You can trust me” is not a trustworthy thing to say to strangers, online or offline
  • Non-secure SSL will not protect you or your online information, no matter how many calls to action you advertise
  • Even authors need a good website; the best kinds include one or more of these features listed in our author site blog post

Do you need a good website for 2020? Give us a call today. The sites we build are beautifully designed and fast—you won’t see them on lists like this!