10 Years of Websites That Suck. Why?

The other day I re-discovered Vincent Flanders’s Web Pages That Suck. Its mission is to help visitors “learn usability and good web design by looking at bad web design”.

It’s totally irreverent and a hilarious and enlightening read. Flanders mercilessly parodies real life examples of clueless web design. He explains why to avoid mystery meat navigation and why you shouldn’t confuse web design with sex along with dozens of other useful design and usability principles.

I was shocked to see the site is celebrating its 10th anniversary. That’s 10 years that Flanders has been giving free advice, in plain English, on how to make a good website. And yet the web is still crammed with sites that suck – sites that don’t even follow the most rudimentary principles of good design, usability and online marketing.

Flanders isn’t the only long-standing evangelist for good websites. Gerry McGovern has been publishing his free e-newsletter on best practice web content management since 1996. Jakob Nielsen’s excellent Alertbox e-newsletter on web usability has been going since 1995! It’s also free.

It’s obvious the message about what makes a good website isn’t getting through. I’m really curious about what website managers know about what creating a successful website. Who do they turn to for advice? And what do those people tell them? Any insights would be most appreciated.

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