Yeah, it is a small business, and...? February 28, 2002 11:09 AM   Subscribe

This is the second front page post in a week ridiculing bad small business design. A bad precedent, and today's post is aggressive to boot. (inside)

posted by liam to Etiquette/Policy at 11:09 AM (14 comments total)

I understand people want to discuss design, and perhaps there isn't enough good new design to post, but making fun of mom & pop sites seems tacky, and won't do much for MetaFilter's reputation. (Discussing bad design of a major corporate or design site I can understand.) Also ending your post with "sue me" is metatrolling.
posted by liam at 11:10 AM on February 28, 2002

Hear hear. How mean-spirited can you get?

Hey, you know what? Pokemon sites suck too. What are those people, fifth-graders?
posted by rodii at 11:21 AM on February 28, 2002

I know, I'll set myself up in the first line ("I'm sure this may be a much-maligned type of front page post.") Then complain at the first comment that approaches criticism.

I knew I couldn't do a front page post without someone picking on me in a condescending manner.

posted by jpoulos at 11:27 AM on February 28, 2002

Let's not be so over-sensetive here. It's really not that big of an issue.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:28 AM on February 28, 2002

Discussing bad design of a major corporate or design site I can understand.

Liam: I agree for the most part on your other points, but why is okay to post discussion of bad design if it's a corporate website? Are they somehow more deserving? Why run down a site's design at all? (Not that I'm innocent of making fun of bad design, but I also don't post links about it to 12,000 other people).
posted by Karl at 11:30 AM on February 28, 2002

I think that the creative decisions of corporations with a huge design budget are fair game, especially those in the tech or media fields, because they're setting some kind of aesthetic agenda. If microsoft or apple were to unveil a new logo you didn't like, it would still be worth posting here.
posted by liam at 11:41 AM on February 28, 2002

Are they somehow more deserving?

I'm not a fan of "look at this ugly site" posts in general, but there is a difference between corporate sites and small business sites.

large corporations have (often large) PR budgets, and can afford adequate design. Some little cleaning company is probably just one or two guys--and every penny they spend on advertising comes straight out of the kids' college funds.

Besides, the beginning web designer who made this site will almost certainly find this post--if he/she is following the server logs at all--and then it becomes a very personal issue. Every designer started with shitty little sites like this one. (I myself built three or four before I really got the hang of it.) It's just not right to ridicule them in such public forum.
posted by jpoulos at 11:41 AM on February 28, 2002

why is okay to post discussion of bad design if it's a corporate website?

I'll take a stab at this: because the designers of corporate sites are, presumably, professionals in their field. If we are interested in discussing aspects of web design, it may well be useful to examine professionally designed sites that are ineffective or poorly executed, but it is ultimately worthless to discuss sites that are merely amateurish.
posted by transient at 11:46 AM on February 28, 2002

And you know, its really hard for sites to be as bad as they used to be....

remember when those damn rainbow bars and marble backgrounds were everywere? that shit was Real, not some designer mocking the past. I've built dozens of shitty websites, about 80 medicore ones, and about 10 that i liked for at least a day or two. I'd rather see GREAT design pointed out--if i want non-great i'll look at some of my own.
posted by th3ph17 at 11:57 AM on February 28, 2002

Making fun of mom and pop Web sites is like going through the Yellow Pages for grammatical errors. It's not exactly news when you find them.
posted by rcade at 12:20 PM on February 28, 2002

To someone who spent the whole day dealing with JavaScript errors, having text by the mouse pointer is an accomplishment. Unless you point out why something hurts usability, it’s not obvious to someone who only uses the Internet to check their e-mail and visit cnn. They probably don’t understand why the people at the plain blue website aren’t impressed.
posted by Gary at 12:24 PM on February 28, 2002

I just deleted today's post, having seen it for the first time. Taking potshots at cleetus' web design shop output is pointless. I accidentally deleted the muslim funeral site, after clicking the wrong link thread, but I kind of liked that discussion, if you could remove the religious aspects of it. Flash was a bad design choice for the intended audience (those greiving, not interested in whiz-bang flash text effects).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2002

You self-appointed MeFi cop!...oh, wait, um....nevermind.
posted by jpoulos at 1:14 PM on February 28, 2002

The whole thing smacks of a nasty "we're / i'm better than you at design..."

That's a bad thing in my book.
posted by Spoon at 4:04 PM on February 28, 2002

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