Bad Website Design



We've compiled a list of the common characteristics you find on 'bad websites' as well as some examples that'll likely make you cringe.



Originally Published: 28th of February, 2014
Last Updated: 28th of February, 2014



On the web there are many examples of fantastic, modern and useful websites ranging between complex and minimalist designs. However, despite such examples it's still common to come across sites that just aren't quite right or even look plain terrible. Below we've compiled a list of the common characteristics you find on 'bad websites' and some examples to demonstrate the full horror of bad website design.


Bad Websites...

  1. Have spelling and grammar mistakes and have not been proof read properly.
  2. Have bad colour choices that make the text hard to read.
  3. Play music in the background, this is well known to annoy almost all web-users.
  4. Load slowly, either from badly optimised pages or a bad quality web hosting provider.
  5. Lack consistency and are disorientating.
  6. Have too much text content and make it hard to find relevant information that a website user wants.
  7. Use blinking, scrolling or fluorescent text. Unless used very sparingly, these are sure to damage your website overall look and feel.
  8. Use negative images - Pictures of people looking tired or distressed on your site are rarely a good idea, even when used to demonstrate how the customer is feeling without your service.


Examples of Bad Websites

Hopefully by the time you view some of these examples the designers would have updated the site.


Example 1


It should be very obvious to most the problem with this site. Frankly, we'd be surprised if your eye's don't start to hurt after looking at it for a good minute. While bright colours can look fantastic, they can also look plain horrible.


 Example 2


This site was built specifically to "graphically demonstrate the most common mistakes made by new Web Page designers" and it does a brilliant job at just that. Like many sites designed 10 years ago, they've included music on the site, which is a definite no-no in almost all cases.


Example 3


Tiny hard-to-read text, incompatible with iphones and an utter lack of useful information. It's also very hard to navigate. While the site has an interesting design, it fails in it's usability.


Example 4


An odd layout with information spread randomly on the page. It also contains an array of almost random animated pictures.


Example 5


Colour is an important part of websites, this site shows how having too many on one site can really distract users from your content.


Example 6


Pictures are good, most users like a nice array of pictures on a website but we can't imagine many people enjoying this website. After loading the first page you are bombarded with content and images which are overwhelming.


In contrast good websites...

  1. Make sure each page offers something of value to the person viewing it.
  2. Provide unique and original content, people will come back to sites that offer them information they can't find anywhere else.
  3. Keep it simple - People like sites that are to the point, this means not too many pictures and no walls of text.
  4. Easy to read - This applies to both the colours you use for your text and headings and the amount of text per page.
  5. Fast loading - If your site has pictures that have not been optimised or it is on a low quality web-host, it will load slowly and annoy your visitors.
  6. Organised - Information must be logically organised and easy to find for users looking for it.
  7. Consistent - people like consistency and are disoriented by unnecessary changes, even small ones. Most good web design revolves around giving each page a consistent look with the rest of your website.

 We hope you found this informative.