Failed Website Designs of 2015

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Ugly Designs of 2015

There were many failed website designed in 2015! While some of these failures were not new at all, it is worth mentioning that they still affected the visitors’ impression of the website, and caused an adverse or negative reaction. “Ugh, what a nasty website!”. Back. Back. Well, as humans (and web designers) we need to learn from past mistakes. This is what this article intends to achieve: highlight these mistakes so that they may not continue to derail your designs.

Failed Website Design “Business Processes” of 2015

Most of the failed website designs of 2015 aren’t actually design related. They have everything to do with the perceptions you have of your clients. Your clients don’t care about you or your website. All they want is solutions to their problems. Designs that didn’t take this into account failed to achieve their intended objectives – marketing products, obtaining donations, promoting a brand, or increasing company sales. They cause their visitors to look elsewhere for solutions.

Why Am I Here?

Another group of failed website design cases were those whose clients could not figure out what the sites were all about within the first four seconds of their visit. The failed designs most of which were the non- profit organizations did not clearly indicate that they solved clients’ problems right from their names and tag lines. An example of these is While the site is ok, it is not apparent (above-the-fold) what the site does, or what it is for. What problem is this company solving for me, the visitor?

What Does That Text Say?

Contrast problems also contributed a great deal to the failed web designs of 2015. Vincent Flanders argues that without proper contrast, site visitors cannot read what is written on a website and if they can’t read, they will obviously look for websites that can be read. However, you may wonder how possible it is for you to notice that you can’t read what is on a website. Many failed web design cases fell victim to Gray, Light and Bad Type. Contrast determines the readability of your site. You create a site because you want visitors to read and then do what you want them to. Designs that failed to recognize the importance of contrast failed to achieve this bit of their intention.

I’m So Confused

A majority of the failed web design cases used elements that got in the way of the sale. Techniques that got in the way and blocked clients from getting to the sale included the use of links that led visitors to frustrating processes such as registration, broken links or re-directions to many other sites before getting the solutions they needed. Such frustrations left visitors with options of coming back on a later date or visiting alternative sites where their problems could be addressed. Perhaps some of the designers did not test their designs to have a feel of the visitors’ experience. Other techniques that got in the way of the sale included:

  • animations,
  • no focal point on the page,
  • too much or too little text,
  • too many pictures, flash videos etc

Some of the failed design cases are those that seemed to suggest your website was everything. They had no links to your Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts, Google+ , your telephone contacts and email addresses. You committed the proverbial mistake of ‘putting all your eggs in one electronic basket’.

Where Do I Go From Here?

Navigational failure was another major undoing of the failed web design cases. Some of these designs:

  • Had a link to the current page on the same page
  • Lacked links back to the home page
  • Bore confusing links to the home page
  • Had poorly worded links that left the visitors lost on where the link would lead them.

Some sites had failed design simply for lacking the most current updates to their content. This takes you back to solving the clients’ problems. Visitors missed the updated content they needed.

Here are some nasty sites- look at them and you will see why.


If you have any sites to add to this list, please drop a comment below!

Chris is a father of 4 and works full time as a network engineer. He loves The Office, P & R, brewing (and drinking) beer, and of course Web Design and SEO.

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