Web design critic pulls no punches: Some sites 'suck'
February 7, 1997
Web posted at: 6:20 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Brian Nelson
(CNN) -- World Wide Web designers beware. The hyperactive
critic of hypertext may be watching. And if he doesn't like
what he sees, he just may post your home page as an example
of "Web Pages That Suck."
Welcome to the world of Vincent Flanders, a Web-savvy
curmudgeon who created www.webpagesthatsuck.com to encourage
better Web sites -- ones not filled with useless sound files,
extensive graphics and basically anything that can turn
downloading into snoozeloading.
His mantra: "Learn good design by looking at bad design."
In doing so, Flanders lets it all hang out. He pans sites
like a meticulous movie critic, taking users through a
step-by-step explanation of why sites "suck." He also invites
users to recommend their favorite poorly designed sites.
The mayor of Portland, Oregon, gets a thumbs down for an
unfinished site. So does The Art Center College of Design --
for not knowing good Web design. Pseudo-stock tickers are
Flanders even found a spelling error on a Microsoft page.
"This is just to show people that even the big boys make
mistakes," he said.
Flanders said the best way to avoid being dubbed a sucky Web
site is to keep in mind his golden rule: restraint. "The Web
is about slow bandwidth, slow servers, bad connections, lots
of traffic," he said.
For example, avoid posting a picture that takes up more than
50 kilobytes of space unless it's really dramatic, he said,
because it will take too long to download. He also doesn't
recommend very many sound bites: "Nobody wants to hear a
sound file unless it's O.J. confessing."
And while Flanders is a ruthless critic of the Web, he also
notes numerous sites for their quality designs. But, most
likely, if you make his page, it's because your site sucks.
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