Tuesday, January 19, 2016

electionbettingodds.com will annoy you

electionbettingodds.com is a great idea, but with haphazard execution. The website uses data from an online betting site to calculate the implied percentage likelihood that presidential candidates will win the United States presidency as well as their party's nomination. Betting odds tend to be better at predicting outcomes than polling, which makes the site's content interesting and helpful. However, electionbettingodds.com will annoy you for the following reasons:
  • While the blue and red column shadings are a nice touch, the lack of shading in the rightmost column gives the page an unbalanced look.
  • The numbers don't add up, which might lead you to question how reliable the data actually is. This is a major flaw in a site whose whole point is to communicate data. For example, if you add up the percentage likelihood of the three democratic candidates, you get 96.5%. However, there is a 100% chance that a democrat will in the democratic primary, so something must be wrong with the data. Similarly, if you add up the percentage likelihood for the republican primary and the presidency, you get 98.1% and 98.9%, respectively.
  • The column headings are not centered.
  • The format of the column headings is just bold and underlined, which looks unprofessional.
electionbettingodds.com will give you some useful information about how the upcoming elections are likely to play out, but the website's experience could be greatly enhanced by fixing the flaws mentioned above. You may want to love this site, but I bet these design flaws will annoy you.

kfc.com won't annoy you

Folks, it's that rare occasion where I post about a website that won't annoy you. kfc.com won't annoy you because it has a simple, pleasant layout that should easily guide you to whatever you're looking for on the site. Here's why kfc.com won't annoy you:
  • A clean layout, with the most important information displayed prominently. The four main sections – title bar, menu, location finder, and video of latest commercial – take up the entire page.
  • Sleek title bar, with just the company name, minimalist logos of links to KFC's social media pages, and an icon linking to more detailed site information.
  • The page takes up the entire screen - unlike many other sites that are not formatted for widescreen displays and have wide, empty side margins.
  • Nice red motif found in each section of the website.
The website format is simple and elegant. Good ol' Colonel Sanders does pop up about a half a dozen times on the page, which could lead to nightmares if all-white-clad elderly men carrying platters of chicken frightens you... but at least you won't be annoyed!

reddit.com will annoy you

reddit.com is my favorite website and even I will admit that it is ugly and overwhelming to new users. Reddit is a social news site that allows users to submit text posts and links, which other users can vote and comment on. Reddit's design seems to focus on function over form, to the dismay of new users. It certainly took me a while to get the hang of Reddit when I first encountered it. When I've attempted to share a post with family or friends, they rarely even make it to the content - they simply get lost in all the detail of the site. reddit.com will annoy you, especially if you are a new user, for the following reasons:
  • Rampant use of jargon. New users will have no idea what 'subreddits', 'reddit gold', 'TIFU', 'ELI5' or 'TIL' mean.
  • The header with a list of links to subreddits is poorly organized - it's just a horizontal list of links in no apparent order.
  • The layout is very plain and unappealing - it is just a vertical list of blue links, with small thumbnail pictures next to them, on a white background.
  • The category of each link – i.e.,  the subreddit that the link was posted in – is listed in small text that does not stand out.
  • The design is very busy, with several hundred different things to click on.
Once you get familiar with what reddit.com is all about, you will find that it is has great content because the user community does a good job of filtering out uninteresting links and comments. However, convincing someone to start using reddit.com is usually a losing battle. First impressions are very important and I can say with near certainty that you will be annoyed with the user experience when you first try out reddit.com.

craigslist.org will annoy you

It is tough to even say that craigslist.org has a design. It's just a list of links formatted in columns. Craigslist is online classifieds website that allows users to making postings in a wide range of categories. Apparentlycraigslist.org has not changed its design since its inception in 1995. Presumably, Craigslist's owners think this "retro" feel of the site suggests that the website is a good, reliable site that has been around a long time. Even if you're a lover of all things nostalgia, craigslist.org will annoy you for the following reasons:
  • It looks more like a Word document than a website.
  • The search bar – arguably the most important feature for a classifieds website – is very small. The heading, "search craigslist" is not even bolded, whereas all the other headings are.
  • Any time you meet up with a stranger you met online, you are opening yourself to potential harm. Craigslist could easily mitigate this risk with an eBay-style user feedback system or by verifying personal information about users. Not convinced? Check out "5 Craigslist crimes that will creep you out".
  • Craigslist is plagued by chronic re-postings. Since all listings are ordered by date, users often re-post their listing to make it appear at the top. Although Craigslist will automatically block an identical re-post, tweaking the posting slightly allows it to get through. This is another big problem that Craigslist could easily fix by keeping better track of its users.
According to Alexa, craigslist.org is the 13th most popular website in the United States. There's no good reason that such a popular website should be so poorly designed. Annoying, right?

isis.ufl.edu will annoy you

Are you looking to enroll in some classes at the University of Florida or to join a trendy terrorist network? Either way, you may end up at isis.ufl.edu, the website for the "Integrated Student Information System" of the University of Florida. Besides its unfortunate name, isis.ufl.edu will be sure to annoy you for the following reasons:
  • The majority of the page is blank space, while the dozens of links are all in a very small font.
  • The word "Services" in the "My Online Services" heading on the top left is cut off.
  • The picture of the dorm-dwelling guitar player in the top right is highlighted with an outdated blue "shadow effect".
  • There does not seem to be a logical ordering or design to the expandable headings in the sidebars. 
    • Some of the headings are expanded, while others are not.
    • I count 15 different headings. Grouping these headings into fewer, broader categories would make it easier for users to find the links they are looking for.
According to this year-old article, the University of Florida plans to change the name of its information system after a request from the family of a journalist who was murdered by the ISIS terrorist network. Since it is taking so long to update the website and since it was so bad to begin with, I can only imagine that the website's designers never had the privilege of taking a web design and development class with Dr. Oge Marques.

Are you annoyed yet?

Welcome to Websites That Will Annoy You ...and some that won't. On this blog, I will curate the most annoying websites and try to explain just want makes them so irritating. On occasion, I will post about a website that won't annoy you, just to give you some temporary relief from annoyance. If after reading this blog, you feel annoyed, then the blog was a success.

Disclaimer: I will be evaluating websites without regard to their advertisements, because as a wise woman once said, "ain't nobody got time for that".

Tell me how you really feel in the comments.