|a screenshot from the haminacamping.com news page. Nice camping times!|
In the news story, the author also asked people to list bad websites in the comments section. As you can imagine, links to amazingly bad websites kept (and still keep) coming.
But that's not everything. Surprisingly many took the time to complain about sites that aren't that bad. People absolutely hated the sites that lacked the information they wanted. That's not so obvious to designers. The most important thing for web users is to be able to find the information they're looking for. The graphics aren't totally meaningless but the content is what got the user there in the first place.
Let's think about a car trip for a while. It's always great to be able to drive on nice, well-maintenanced highway. A bad road with bumps and cracks is literally a pain in the... you know. The condition of the road is only about convenience. The point is the destination. Think about what happens if you miss the turn you needed to take because the sign wasn't obvious enough. You end up some place far away from your destination. Then it doesn't really matter if the road was perfect to drive on. Everything was a big waste of time. On the other hand, the road to your summer house might not be in a perfect shape. Still, you enjoy the trip because you know you'll love it in the destination.
Websites are like roads. A good one guides you to your destination - gives you the information you want. A bad one wastes your time. Visual design is not the main concern.
As I mentioned early on in this post, people posted links to ugly, unusable websites. There are ugly websites and then there are amazingly ugly websites. Here are few links to some sites that might need a redesign. I guess it's safe to say that visual design does matter, too. Have fun.
http://www.lippis.net/aaargh/index.htm (made on purpose)
http://www.pelulamu.net/pelulamu/ (made on purpose)
http://www.kolumbus.fi/jedi.akatemia/ (made on purpose)
http://www2.eduskunta.fi/fakta/edustaja/478/ (quite bad for a politician)
Feel free to link more, I'll add the most horrible ones to the list.