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Why so many CRAPPY sites?
Is it just me that hates "web 2.0" hype?
Wlauzon




msg:3837204
 9:28 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Lately I am seeing more and more downgrades to "web 2.0".

What used to be decent, useful, and informative sites have now become piles of useless fluff. And they all look identical.

It seems that half of our vendors have followed this path. Now in many cases instead of just pulling up their site for info on a product, I have to call them and fight the "press 34 for assistance ....is not at their desk, would you like to leave a message?"

It seems like all of these sites have a few common characteristics.
1. 10px sized fonts, usually grey on white.
2. Lot of fluff about how they started the business in 34 BC
3. Some kind of flash thingy, often with no relation to the products.
4. some picture of 3-4 people standing around a desk or computer, all smiling happily. (too bad they sell pipe fittings)
5. Almost always a bad DOCTYPE
6. Broken links to their catalog
7. (43 other rants saved for a later time)

Some of these unfortunate sites have a little logo at the bottom - designed by Acme Widgets. Go to that site and you see inspiring prose like "..developing and designing usable, dynamic web 2.0 sites..." or "Add social interaction to your Web site.."

Uhm.. excuse me, but what the hell does a sheet metal fabrication company need with links to their facebook page? Am I missing something?

Who is selling small companies on this kind of junk? (I hope nobody here..).

 

topr8




msg:3837216
 10:01 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

agreed.

i think it's the old story that good salesmen sell product, even when the product is inferior - hence the proliferation of totally useless 'functionality'

add clueless customers who are entranced by new fluffy, sparkly, flashing stuff

put the two together and that is a lot of web 2.0 ... there is so much good about web 2.0 of course but not where it isn't needed.

Shaddows




msg:3837221
 10:09 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

How dare you blaspheme! Web2.0 is the way forward. Why would anyone want a simple, functional site that either (perhaps both) gives the information you want, or the ability to buy (with a checkout process that tells you the delivery cost BEFORE you enter details), when you can have an EXPERIENCE.

Its all about touchy-feely EXPERIENCES. As you well know, wisdom is the sum total of experiece, so why would you forgo wisdom by simply BUYING something. Not only must you be able to FEEDBACK to the company, you must FEEL that THEY FEEL your heartfelt EXPERIENCE- and the only way to do that is to SHARE with all those people who come after you, able to learn from the pearls of wisdom (crytalised experience) emminating forth from each tap of your keyboard.

The web is dead; LONG LIVE THE WEB

HugeNerd




msg:3837443
 3:27 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

4. some picture of 3-4 people standing around a desk or computer, all smiling happily. (too bad they sell pipe fittings)

What's wrong with selling pipe fittings? I know plenty of happy people who sell pipe fittings...Are they selling press or sweat fittings?

Also, do you know anyone who wants to buy fittings? :o)

rocknbil




msg:3837488
 4:36 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Totally agree, but this is just another permutation of a problem that has always been here: people are still selling web sites relying on client/customer ignorance.

The first thing I discuss with a potential client is the difference between presentation - which equates to what they think they want their site to look like (foregoing the "do") - and what it really should do. Many/most designers/developers ignore this and go for the presentation. That is what they sell. They don't tell them it will be bloated, ineffective in growing their business, and generally of little benefit. The sale is in the glitz. Once the check has cleared, who cares . . .

I do. :-)

JS_Harris




msg:3837785
 10:09 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Being a webmaster is knowing a different language.
Being a salesman means learning that different language just well enough to sell stuff or earn money.
I wouldn't complain too loudly if your competition truly stinks at knowing the language, be quiet and get paid.

simonuk




msg:3838098
 10:51 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

It isn't just Web 2.0; I'm still trying my hardest to stop the "popup every link" frame of mind. 2009 and I'm still battling clients to stop everything opening in new windows.

Some web 2.0 is good as it can make the journey through the site easier. overload it and the site falls apart.

I have spent the last eleven years of my web designing life following just two rules and they've never let me down.

1. K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple Stupid.
2. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Neither have ever failed me.

sunwukung




msg:3838160
 12:50 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think the real definition of web 2.0 would be "seamless and usable" - so using AJAX (not that I can) to create apps like Googlemaps etc (which beats the pants off of any map provider I've ever used in the past).
I agree that there is prodigious abuse of JS and superfluous graphical 'refinements' (nothing like a tooltip popping open on every 5th word to make me hit the exit) - but then I think that's counterintuitive to the true web 2.0 idea.

Wlauzon




msg:3838270
 4:03 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

...What's wrong with selling pipe fittings? I know plenty of happy people who sell pipe fittings...

Real pipe fitting salesman don't sit around desks in an immaculate suit smiling like they are on something illegal. Not unless they are selling 2.0 fittings...

I got on this rant because the last straw was one of our vendors fell into this trap. used to be a really simple site that we could log onto and get quotes and availability. Now it looks all nice and pretty with a nice beach sunset header. Unfortunately it seems that in the process of making it purty they corrupted the database.

HugeNerd




msg:3838418
 6:08 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Real pipe fitting salesman don't sit around desks in an immaculate suit smiling like they are on something illegal. Not unless they are selling 2.0 fittings...

Real pipe fitting salesmen shouldn't have time to sit around and smile...not unless they want our owner to to rip the smile off their face. Plumbing salesmen and suits are like oil and water, you can put them together but don't expect them to mix.

A lot of our vendors are falling into this same trap; maybe they'll make me upgrade soon...

Lobo




msg:3838468
 6:54 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Got to agree that I've never seen so many generic looking sites that are not templates ever...

Maybe it's just a transitional period ? or perhaps the ideas of what is required over what is great design has taken precedence..

Web trends change and I suspect this initial trend will change also.. but got agree, it's boring me to death also..

[edited by: Lobo at 6:55 pm (utc) on Jan. 30, 2009]

Wlauzon




msg:3838650
 10:31 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Got to agree that I've never seen so many generic looking sites that are not templates ever...

It has reached epidemic proportions - but in some cases that might be good - makes it easier to stand out.

Over the past few weeks at least 4 of our major competitors have done some site "upgrades". While a couple are probably an improvement, what struck me is that today I was spying on them, and it hit me that I did not know what site I was on.

They all looked the same or very similar. There is no more "branding" by looks & feel. Blue, green, orange, and yellow tabs. Grey text on white. A few rounded corner pictures with some kind of blurry shadow.

While I can see the benefits of some standard layout, especially in ecommerce, the lack of originallity is striking.

[edited by: Wlauzon at 10:32 pm (utc) on Jan. 30, 2009]

Wlauzon




msg:3839255
 7:21 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

An all to true quote from useit.com:

Websites for high-tech start-ups are particularly notorious for presenting generic, buzzword-filled mission statements that could apply equally well to both their worst competitors and companies producing completely different products...

old_expat




msg:3841776
 4:50 am on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Uhm.. excuse me, but what the hell does a sheet metal fabrication company need with links to their facebook page? Am I missing something?

When I owned a precision metal fab job shop back in the late 70' - early 80's, a group of shop owners formed an association; part business, part social. At that time, neither the WWW as we know it or Facebook were around. But if they had been around, I can imagine that some of the owners would have built web pages and someone would have probably set up a Facebook group. Would have been a nice way to keep current with industry news, gossip, meeting schedules, dues reminders, etc.

That doesn't go to the absolute question you asked, but ..

OTOH, I agree with most of what you say about Web 2.0 websites.:)

[edited by: old_expat at 4:56 am (utc) on Feb. 4, 2009]

oodlum




msg:3870134
 3:58 am on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

What you're describing is very Web 1.0.

Static, cookie-cutter "online brochure" sites by companies who are told they need a web site but aren't really sure how or why.

Essex_boy




msg:3870214
 10:14 am on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Lot of fluff about how they started the business in 34 BC -ROFL

MrHard




msg:3870395
 6:54 pm on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

One place we work with has once of those "Our Team" pics with everyone around the boardroom table in suits smiling, obviously some free shot they got somewhere on the web.

The funny thing is, exact facial expressions aside, when I met them the team actually did look very similar to the photo.

A successful asian company expanding into the US who did not have time to deal with web sales. Old school just sees websites as a kind of electronic business card.

With the cookie cutter ecommerce sites I think it is different. With any success usually comes rigidity. Sticking to what has worked in the past, fear of adopting the new and changing things or experimenting results in a safe site with no bite. Neutral colors, stock photos, standard display, no risk. Perhaps sitting around the boardroom table one day in a suit and acting rather stodgy.

[edited by: MrHard at 7:14 pm (utc) on Mar. 14, 2009]

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