Truly Dreadful Websites – Part 1

I’ve been on the web since 1995 and have seen websites evolve from when the default background colour was grey through to today where anything goes.  My very first website had a highly classy ‘repeating cloud’ background which I thought was fantastic at the time.  However, looking back, this may not have been the case!

The fact is that there are designs that people think are fantastic but in fact, they are truly awful.  And what better way to spend our time than to find them and make fun of them?

So, for the first an in occasional series, let’s look at some Truly Dreadful Websites.

First up is:


OK, where to start with this one.

This website wants to kill you.  Seriously!

Firstly, you get an epilepsy inducing background that needs a serious health warning.  It that doesn’t get you, then the streaming music will do.  That awful repetitive song (naturally, you can’t stop it) causes your heart rate to increase until the sweet release of a heart attack induced death makes the music finally stop.

And what else do we have.  A cat running along the bottom – well, what website doesn’t have that?  Plus a bird flying around, perhaps trying to escape from the cat?  And finally, as a sort of cherry on top, there’s an image of a ladder with a paint pot and two concrete Venetian-style arches.  Genius.

But wait, what else – is it trying to load an Active-X control?  No, by some clever coding that frankly puts the rest of the site to shame, they’ve created a virus warning to show that your actual soul is under attack but that Internet Explorer has detected that and can save you.

That’s not something that they’ve publicised in IE 8 is it?

And now, over to our official adjudicator for the final, scientifically calculated, scores:

Score: (on a scale of 1 being unoffensive and 10 being truly offensive)

Use of colour: 8/10.  Good effort – my eyes are still hurting

Useless tacky bits: 7/10. Points awarded for the creative use of the cat, ladder, Venetian arches and the bird

Innovation: 8/10. The ActiveX warning is genius

Usability: 2/10. Disappointing – all the links seemed to work and it’s got a pretty easy navigation system

Annoyance factor: 9/10. The music and the colour both require a health warning


So, a pretty good showing from this website.  They did a pretty good job on getting everything wrong except the usability, although the fact you can barely see it due to the background deserves an honourary mention.

However, there are plenty more websites out there that are ready to knock this one off its perch so stay tuned for part 2 – coming soon!