Website design: the good, the bad, and the utterly disgusting

January 19, 2010

Website design also has its ups and downs. I judge a website’s design by a few factors: load time, visual noise, and functionality.

Google takes the cake in all of these areas. Even on a slow connection, google.com loads in seconds, with only one graphic, and a simple search box. It has virtually zero visual noise, with a white background. Its functionality is unparalleled. The page loads with the cursor in the search box, ready for your input. It even auto-completes your search using useful suggestions based on popular searches.

Then there’s Yahoo.

Look how cluttered that is. If I want to search for something, I don’t care about Julia Roberts.

The worst offender, however, is a very popular Korean search engine called Daum. Their homepage loads with flash animations, sometimes with sound. Animated GIF images, flashy ads everywhere. This site is the visual representation of a migraine headache:

Those 2 purple boxes are flash animations. There should be a warning for epileptic people on the main page. I understand that popular websites require a lot of bandwidth and engineering, but flashy animated, loud flash ads are just unforgivable. I’m so thankful for Firefox and the adblock addon.

A well-designed website should be simple and functional. I should immediately be able to perform the task that I set out to do when I visited the site, not navigate through a barrage of ads and flashy distractions. Let’s all hope that future website designers take note and design sites that are both functional and simple.

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