The idea that a good website requires quality web design seems like a consensus, right? When planning a new website, the design aspect is usually more than important – it’s essential. Companies spend a fortune on web design, and web designers are the new lawyers – every mother in law wants one.
So if the web design industry is so huge, how come there are still many websites and free Flash website look as if they’ve never seen a photoshop? And we’re not only talking about esoteric blogs. Some of the most popular sites online sport a very peculiar design, so to say. Yet it doesn’t seem to prevent them from succeeding. What does that say about web design?
Obviously the services offered by these sites are so good that the looks becomes almost irrelevant. It contradicts everything web designers are taught to believe. Let’s have a look at a few of these sites.
To tell you the truth, I don’t remember how Craigslist looked liked when it first came online in 1996, but I have a feeling it wasn’t much different from nowadays. And yet, Craigslist’s design doesn’t seem to be keeping the users away. The fonts, that grey, not to mention the peace-sign favicon – Craigslist must really be amazing if it gets away with these crimes.
Matt Drudge’s website is on the daily surfing list of hundreds of thousands of people. The fact that it looks like the messy room of a 13-year-old with ADHD doesn’t scare them away. The Drudge Report is not only designed without any visible logic, it also gives you a headache if you stare too long at it. It’s so distinctly unattractive that it must some kind of a fashion statement.
Unlike some other sites on this list, Chatroulette was not designed in the 90′s and cannot hide behind the mistakes of that decade. The new It site may offer an innovative service, but design-wise, it looks like a blast from the past. Maybe beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but let’s talk functionality. Why are the video screens so small? Isn’t that what it’s all about?
With the exception of the cute logo, Reddit’s design is surprisingly boring, especially when considering the target market. And that’s not everything: the header with the categories is unpleasant, the “Submit” button is not really intuitively located and it’s very annoying that one needs to tilt the screen in order to see the arrows and votes better. It’s open source. Why doesn’t anyone do something about it?
No need for an introduction. This enterprise is the oldest on the list, but that’s no excuse for the ancient design. It’s a bit strange that one of the most important sites in show biz looks like an “infotainment” portal of the lowest kind. What’s going on the HQ? Are they afraid of changes or simply blind?