Sketching a Poorly Designed Website

Sketching interfaces is a fun way of preparing yourself for design projects, as it has you interacting with a site and getting you to think about its strengths & weaknesses. This time I’m focusing my effort on sketching what I believe is a terribly designed interface.

I’ve previously looked at good web interface designs, but this time I want to look at what I believe is a poorly designed web interface. Below is my sketch of the City and County of Honolulu’s website, and below that is my reasoning for why I think it’s poorly designed.

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Sketch of the City and County of Honolulu website.

The biggest gripe I have with these site is that there’s just too much going on. There are 21 boxes visitors can click on, which doesn’t include the number of links within the boxes or around the page.

Adding to that are some visually outdated icons used around the page, coupled with a massive background image full of different colours and shapes. The icons aren’t benefitting the credibility of the site as an important city and county website.

The background image would certainly make for a pleasant background image. Applying a gradient and blurring the background image might make it less distracting, but maintain its ‘visual pleasantry’ on the site.

The last complaint I have is that about 1/3 of the page is empty, which I presume is to show off more of the background (i.e. the pretty beach photo). Making the boxes bigger and grouping them together – then moving them into that empty space might make this site easier to navigate while keeping functionality.

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