If "bad website" were a genre, it might well surpass the giant internet porn industry. Some bad websites seem the product of Luddites drawing on monitors with Sharpie markers. Others are constructed with all the efficacy of a monkey slinging poo at a wall to see what sticks. Yet others might be viewed as the abstract actualizations of artists under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms. And then there are the ones that truly stand out.
Dismiss for the moment sites suffering from inept coding or poor standards. These are legion and far too numerous to merit consideration as "bad websites". They are simply technical failures and amateur attempts. No. The sites that demand our attention today are true tragedies of design and despair. These are the sites designed for Businesses and Celebrities who should have known better, but didn't. These are so "over-the-top" bad that one must wonder if perhaps their web designer harbored some secret grudge against their client.
Without further ado, allow me to assume my best "Rod Serling" to present a Night Gallery of digital horror. Welcome to this exclusive showing of ten websites, each a collectors' item in its own way - not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a screen, and suspends in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare.
I've provided the quick links to the websites themselves below, but you will probably want to page through the gallery, "10 web design tragedies," for the full effect with commentary on the visual assault you see before you.
Here's a little taste from Number 10 (yeah, you really need to view this full-size):
Quick Links For impatient masochists
- Number 10: http://www.arngren.net
- Number 9: http://www.lingscars.com
- Number 8: http://www.zombo.com
- Number 7: http://www.pearlbrite.biz
- Number 6: http://www.rentistoodamnhigh.org
- Number 5: http://www.airportfleet.co.uk
- Number 4: http://www.georgehutchins.com
- Number 3: http://www.enterprisemission.com
- Number 2: http://www.jkrowling.com/en/index.cfm
- Number 1: http://www.georgerrmartin.com
Todd Fluhr is a freelance writer and multimedia designer. A self-described "Shockwave Rider" of technology, culture, and creativity, he has been involved in the interactive entertainment industry since the early 90's. He hopes to find time to sleep some day.