The conclusion of our contest to find the ugliest website in Minnesota finally came to an end.
In total, we had 21 websites submitted with over 800 hundred votes.
With 241 votes, Bizlistr.com was crowned with the title of Ugliest Website in Minnesota. Beyond claiming the prestigious title, they also won a complete redesign of their website from us.
The websites submitted did not disappoint. Many had the classic elements of an “ugly” website. Several websites looked like they had been created a decade ago in Dreamweaver and Microsoft Paint.
What made the websites ugly? For better or worse, ugly websites have consistent characteristics.
The Ingredients of an Ugly Website:
Conflict is essential in a good story or movie, but makes for an awful web experience. When you place two fonts from the same family near each other on the same page, you have conflict. Too many similarities and you have conflict, which makes for a distracting and uneasy viewing experience.
You avoid conflict with contrast.
“There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.”
— Herman Melville
Can you read the email address below? Even reading “Electronic mail” is difficult.
Contrast is a necessary element of a great looking website. Without contrast, nothing sticks out. If nothing sticks out, nothing gets noticed.
Contrast helps guide the eyes of the viewer. Without proper contrast, it’s like looking at the ocean – one giant mass. Effective websites utilize contrast to lead the visitor on a path.
Think of contrast as a magnet for the eyes. If used effectively, it will pull the viewers eyes to a specific location.
Everything on your website should be done with purpose. Not only should each button have a purpose, but so should the placement of the button.
Contrasting randomness is repetition – an essential element for a good web site.
When you visit a new tab on a website, you shouldn’t see a new font family, a completely different layout, and a whole new website. Use of repeating buttons, fonts, and colors creates a smooth browsing experience.
The poor alignment above causes conflict with the viewer. More specifically, poor alignment looks sloppy. Alignment is something visitors on your website shouldn’t even have to think about.
Grab Bag of Badness:
Stat counters, animated gifs, auto-playing videos, Comic Sans (gasp!), excessive exclamation points, and various other things you’d expect to see on a GeoCities website in 1995. Most of them were discovered somewhere in the websites submitted.
Why a Good Website Is Important:
I hope you already know the answer to this. Having a bad website is like showing up to a job interview wearing sweatpants. It shows a lack of interest and effort.
Few people want to maintain or create a new website. But much like taking care of a car, in order to get users to your desired destination, regular maintenance and updates are required.
With everything in business, the customer experience is above all, which includes the online experience.
If it’s been a while since you’ve made an update to your website, it might be worth taking another look.