Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shitty Web Sites of The Week

After having tripped over some real crappy "local" web sites, I thought I'd do a segment focusing on them.  This is limited to web sites representing businesses and organizations within this little speck of land affectionately known as "Hampton Roads".  I've already described what the unofficial name "Hampton Roads" refers to, so if you need to see the list of municipalities that make up the collective monicker just Google it.

Sports Venues

Today's crappy/shitty/poorly-designed site is the Virginia Beach Field House.  I should have said "Sports Venue" since this is about the only one, well, aside from the sleepy Virginia Beach Sportsplex site.

On the surface, it will seem like a decent web site.  But the more you dig, you find things difficult to dig up.  Things that should take a single click, instead, require multiple clicks.  Much of the event information for which they've booked are jumps to other sites (bad for search engine marketing).  The "mobile" site is horrendously bad.  Trying to find even information is painful.  The layout is clunky and inefficient for a mobile device.  The link to view the "non-mobile" site renders like a bad 1960's action movie, replete with black text on dark blue background. 

Rating/Desktop Version (scale: A,B,C,D,F):

  • Accuracy of information:  B+
  • Navigation: D
  • Color Scheme: F
  • Visual Appeal: D
  • Layout: D
  • HTML Code Structure: C
  • SEO optimization of code: D

Rating/Mobile Version (same scale):

  • Accuracy of information: C
  • Navigation: F
  • Color Scheme: D
  • Visual Appeal: F
  • Layout: F
  • HTML Code Structure: B
  • SEO optimization of code: who cares

News Stations

WVEC, ABC affiliate, Channel 13 (local)

The color scheme and layout look like a 1980's purple passion bathtub pukefest.  Not the color scheme itself.  I'm referring to the infusion of stupid-looking ads whose themes do not match the site at all.  Yep, it's a purple passion puke performance.  I'm talking about AFTER the drinking has commenced and the party dude/chick staggers back to the bathtub to refill their cup, only to realize that leaning forward invokes the regurgitation stimulus and the previous consumption has returned to the pool from which it came.  THEN, the next party-er walks in, fills their cup with the previously consumed beverage substances and begins chugging.  THEN when they realize it's already been consumed and puked back into the tub, they too add their puke offering into the same tub.  This is what the WVEC web site looks like.  Major grade reduction goes to the shitty heading ads that cheapen the respectability of their brand image.

If you get bored, try counting all the ads on their home page and then count the "news" stories.  Now, tell me which has the greater count?

WTKR, CBS affiliate, Channel 3

Red. White. Blue. Red. White. Blue. Red. White. Blue. Red. White. Blue. Red. White. Blue. Red. White. Blue.  Ok, we get it: you're f***ing patriotic.  So much so that you devote a significant amount of time reporting on the failings of our local government (to be fair, all of the local news outlets despise all forms of local government and love to report as such).  After all, nothing says "I'm a proud American" like repeatedly waving a red-white-and-blue flag while you bad mouth the government.  Awesome.  Oh, and by the way, you're only missing a Bail Bonds ad on your home page.  The rest of the ads look like a 1970's New York subway prop from The Warriors.

WAVY, NBC affiliate, Channel 10

Of all the local station web sites, this has the cleanest and simplest layout and navigational structure.  However, it gets a lower grade on performance due to slow page rendering.  While this site has roughly as many gawdy advertisements as the others, they had the sense to avoid putting them in the heading like WVEC.

FOX43, Fox affiliate, Channel 43

This site is a clone of NBC affiliate WAVY-10 so the same rating applies.  Points off for that.  At least show that you have SOME level of imagination.

Next Time: The Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater… Oh wait, never mind.  They don't really have their own web site.  They freeload on the LiveNation ticket sales web site, which is technically not from Hampton Roads but still qualifies as one of the ugliest pieces of crap sites to click on.

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