At bOnline we’re all about creating great websites for your small business. So when we spot poorly designed sites, it’s hard to ignore them. In our new weekly Fail Friday blog, we’ll take a lighthearted look at some of the worst sites on the web.
The site with the dubious honour of featuring in our first Fail Friday is www.fabricland.co.uk This UK based business has a chain of shops across the South which stock a large array of fabrics and haberdashery supplies.
It’s hard not to be bowled over by the site’s garish homepage. The colours are an acquired taste, to say the least, and there’s an array of animated images flailing around madly at various points on the page. When navigating through other pages on the site, it’s clear that the design is all over the place. The site uses a number of different fonts, and there is no set colour scheme (although they do seem to be keen on acid yellow). This is one of the key risks of creating your own site from scratch: your artistic ‘vision’ may not work as well as you’d imagined and can easily look unprofessional.
Aside from the visual experience, Fabric Land has made some key mistakes in making its site user-friendly. Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity is the option to buy online. Customers can browse the large range of products, but must call to order.
The site also uses frames for navigating the site – remember those? There’s a reason they’re rarely used today. Not only do they look bad, they are difficult to use, especially on mobile devices. Search engine optimisation has not been considered – every page on the site has been titled as ‘New Page 1’, something which is not likely to be picked up by Google.
Perhaps the biggest surprise about Fabric Land’s site is the fact it is still going strong. It may have all the trademarks of an abandoned mid 90s web project but it’s actually regularly updated – one of its few redeeming factors.