While it has always been said that you cannot judge a book purely by its cover, such is certainly not only limited to the word of the trusty paperback. In a futile attempt to stand out from the crowd, more and more web designers these days are becoming so hell bent on making their sites aesthetic wonders to behold that they forget to actually take the end-user experience into account.
Of course, nobody ever said that balancing the two was easy, but if you’re going to tip the scales one way or the other, away from usability is really not the way to go under any circumstances. To bring the matter to life, the following are examples of sites that tick all the right boxes for the eye, but will likely have you leaving before spending any useful time in their confines.
If you’re interested in examples of web design inspiration that get usability right, check out these posts:
- 20 Sleek and Sexy Interface Designs
- Inspirational eCommerce Web Designs
- 30 Fresh Inspirational Web Designs
- 30 Beautiful Large Photo Background Web Designs
- 30 Masterful Blue Web Designs
- 30 Delicious Food and Drink Website Designs
- Brilliantly Designed Login and Signup Forms
- 45 Inspirational Beer and Brewery Websites
- Effective and Way Cool iPhone App Websites
- Inspirational Photographer Portfolio Websites
- 20 Examples of Big Typography in Web Design
The first thing that hits you about this website is not the rather fetching visuals of the introduction, but the painfully slow progress bar beneath them that seems to hiccup around every 5% or so. Sure, the product might be great and the site rather pretty, but I challenge you to muster the patience to actually get into it in the first place.
A good site to look at, but you have my assurance that even after a good look around, you still will not have the slightest clue what it is actually about. Sure there are pretty pictures, graphics and text, but all are a little redundant if you’ve no idea what they mean.
An instant pet hate of mine…annoying music that begins as soon as the site appears. There really is no need, it never improves the experience and prompts immediate shutdowns if in a quiet environment. Furthermore, using an egg tree for navigation may be quaint, but as least inform users how to access the content.
As far as I am concerned, any website that has to provide a detailed chart on how to navigate the content is barking up the wrong tree to say the least. Who exactly is going to waste their time taking lessons in pointless navigation for a single site when there are millions that follow the standard, accepted and foolproof norm? Very few people…that’s who!
A rather nifty site overall, apart from the fact that the patience required to actually get where you want to be is a little on the extensive side to say the least. Sure, the journey might include some pretty visuals along the way, but looking elsewhere to speed up the process is a far more attractive prospect indeed.