Once in a while I come across a website that is so awful I have to bookmark it.
As a crime against web design, it needs to be recorded and an investigation undertaken to find the guilty parties in a WWW whodunit.
I'm not talking about the hobbyist's site, or those built by school kids for their six form projects, just the ones that look like they have, despite money changing hands for their creation.
I can also forgive the bed and breakfast owners for not employing leading edge web thinkers to manage their online presence. But some really large companies have some really shocking sites.
Don't get me wrong, I'm responsible for one or two mingers myself, which I wish I could take offline. But when accused, like most web designers, I will claim that the "client did it".
Technically known as "too much client input", the client decides to hire a dog and bark himself, leaving the designer to compromise his integrity in order to get paid.
You know that spinning logo is wrong, and the splash page will kill any chance of search engine success. You know it will only work properly on the client's obscurely configured PC, but you tried to educate them, and frankly they just weren't paying you enough to make them listen.
When presented with the evidence the client will claim "the MD did it". MDs are not used to listening, and seldom have their opinions challenged: I should know, I am one!
They will have found some quirky site they love and hand it to their web designer and say I want my site to look like this.
More likely the MD will want the site to be filled with corporate vanity and forget that the only reason his website exists is to attract new customers by offering solutions to their problems.
Sometimes it is " the advertising agency that did it". The client was seduced by the agency's creative director, who made his company look sexy in print, yet not realise that good web design needs a different skill set.
The agency "creatives" will remove "long strings of text" we know as words, to makes the site look "cleaner". And in order to create more "white space" will remove clutter, we know as content.
They win a design award and the client will get the emperor's new clothes.
On the other hand, if the site looks like it was designed by a colour blind dyslexic then almost certainly "the IT department did it".
It will pass every accessibly and usability standard and work in the most obscure browsers, yet give out one clear message: no one senior enough in the client's organisation takes the web seriously and there will be little point in trying to do business with them online.