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Bloopers And Boo-Boos In The World’s Most Popular Websites

By Eva Barnes , Apr 6 2017
Popular Websites

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No matter how hard we try, some issue or the other is left while designing a website. The best we can do, is to fix them or to learn from the mistakes that have already been made, so not to repeat them. However, it is not necessary the mistakes we learn from are ours.

Even some of the world’s most popular websites that have millions of visits each day, have their flaws. These flaws might be overshadowed by the alluring positives of the industry homepages, but they are still there and they do dampen the whole user experience if even so slightly.

We have put together a set of examples with the help of Alexa, SimilarWeb and a few other sources. These examples are all amongst the top most popular websites in their respective countries, yet due to some blunders haven’t reached their full potential. Thus, we have pointed out the mistakes in each site for you to see and learn.

1. USA

Buzzfeed’s display is somewhat bestrewn; the pages are filled with content and colorful images. The content is readable, yet one couldn’t help but wonder how better it could look without so much of everything. The site has a top sticky menu but scrolling through all the content on the page and identifying it all, is a chore we could have gone without.

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The mien of Little Things is aesthetically divine, there is no shortage of eye-candy and the site doesn’t have any major or many issues. One thing however, got us ticked off; the blinking effect the menus, especially the mega menu, gives off. Hover menus are already vexing enough, add those to the blinking effect and you can reach a whole new level of sainthood, just by using the site.

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The main flaw with Urban Dictionary is its content. Anyone go on the site and write a definition, or rather the lack of, as most of the content there is either inaccurate, nonsensical or offensive. Not all definitions should be added to the site, they should be reviewed first. This might go against the initial concept behind this layman guide, but minor checks should be placed, as all this dampens the whole user experience.

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2. UK

The Daily Mail has displayed TOO MUCH content. There is so much content that the page has become next to impossible to read. Handling this mess would require nothing less of a SWOT team, luckily we have another solution – lots of navigation. The site could us a sticky mega menu or sticky sidebar, a top button and maybe even a hamburger menu, to eliminate the hours and hours of scrolling required.

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The Lad Bible has a pretty simple layout with just one top menu, which isn’t even a drop down. What the site needs is a few subcategories to give it a more professional look and better structure.

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BBC like other news giants of the digital world has lots of content displayed. What it needs, is a neater more structured display so all the titles don’t appear jumbled. Most of the site is over-flowing with content while a few places has blank empty columns on the right. One of the only places where the content actually looks properly showcased is in the travel section.

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3. Canada

Kijiji, as we can call it, is a semi local site. The major problem with this site is the unsupervised content posted on the site. Ads are placed without images showcasing the property or product which is put on the market. Also, no proper quality checks or background checks are done, so chances of scam are increased, despite the safety measures mentioned on the website.

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Plenty of Fish is a popular dating site where creeps aren’t the only problem to be faced. Another issue is that users cannot explore the site without registering. Most of the features and pages cannot be tried out or even viewed until a person signs in. It’s a major turn off; talk about a barrier to entry, no pun intended.

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The flaw in Canadian Tire is what can be categorized as a bittersweet one. The site has excellent navigation that itself proves to be an annoying hindrance. The user is directed to one menu after another, the only shred of sanity a person can keep is by reassuring himself that he will be steered directly to what he wants. If however, a person doesn’t have a specific kind of product in mind then the already ticking bomb of anger is likely to burst. There is a sidebar that eliminates many options by fixing the specifics like price, brand, etc. Maybe a category or two more can be added to it, in order to save time.

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4. Australia

Bunnings could do without most of its navigation. While most of the sites’ main pages are oozing out with content, Bunnings is filled with hyperlinks and menus. A minimalistic approach could do wonders.

Image Source is plagued with the same disease as most news site; displaying tons of content in a restricted amount of space on the page, resulting in a distracting layout.

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The Sunday Morning Herald another news site, has a similar ailment, the result is slightly different, but the cause is the same – loads of content. Lots of headlines are displayed on the site, giving readers so many options that they get confused on what to rad and what to forgo.

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5. Pakistan is the one stop for all Pakistanis; the site hosts a range of topics, with content gathered from various sources including freelancers, original content, other sites and news sources. The pages aren’t overflowing with content but the site still has a confusing layout. The display and graphic options need to be changed, especially the white background that clashes horribly with the content in this case. Also, boundaries can be defined or something else should be done to highlight the written matter.

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The initial display page of showcases the cluttered pages of the Urdu newspaper, Daily Express, making it look unappealing. Another flaw is the menu bar on top which is has little clarity and much less visibility. The main reason for this is the muted grey tone the text bears, despite the page having a white background, and the small font. This bar directs users to The Express Tribune, Web Chutney and other linked sites.

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What WhatMobile needs is a compare feature to make it more user-friendly. This option will require less effort, lesser hassle and will eliminate the need to open lots of tabs to compare thee products.

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6. India

Flipkart is perhaps India’s most popular e-commerce site and we can see why, it just has one lack. The site’s design would be perfect if it could flaunt a compare feature to make electronics’ shopping more efficient.

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India Times is one of the few news sites which conveys information without overwhelming the users. This they do by using images to bear a short text, instead of having the long mundane headlines. However, this also caused a lot of trouble as the colorful images coupled with the brightly colored menus and bars appeared so overly flamboyant to the eye that even the plain white background couldn’t prevent the vividness from jumping out at us.

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Paytm will bury you under its menus! The mega hamburger menu on top has a click and hover option, but shockingly that is not what ticked us off, the innumerable listings present in the menu did. The subcategories open subcategories which lead to more subcategories listed under them which if clicked lead to the actual options. This menu cover around half of the screen if opened, but wait till you reach the bottom. The bottom menu that already displayed, covers nearly the whole screen.

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7. China

Baidu is a Chinese search engine which greatly resembles Google, but if you have the misfortune of clicking on of the options placed on the top right corner of the page then you’ll see that most those pages are nothing like the minimalistic design you saw on the search pages. Those pages whether it’s News or Hao123 or Videos, are like a volcano of text, images and other graphics erupt in there.

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Taobao is an e-commerce website which badly requires a top button, sticky menu or jump menu. If added, it would save much of the users’ time and energy, ensuring conversion.

Image Source is like the long lost twin of Australia’s Sunday Morning Herald website. The moment the main page loads, you’ll come face to face with a mountain of headlines and links. So many options just confuse the user or make them run away. It’s simple, the more effort they have to put in carefully reading the whole page, the faster they’ll leave the site.

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8. Russia

The trouble with Drom is that some of the content on the page is not structured properly, at places you might even feel there is little uniformity and alignment. This doesn’t give the site a very classy or professional look, other than that, this is an okay site, maybe lacking a top button, but that’s all.

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Rambler Media’s could be synonymous with confusing. Try scrolling through the homepage and you’ll see what we’re talking about. Not only will the whole page slide down but an individual section somewhere in the middle of the webpage will also slide down. As that section doesn’t have a proper border, the only way to identify it is by scrolling. This unique feature they have added is to accommodate more content. You might have seen something similar on a movies site, but over here this option is just plain confusing.

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Pikabu is similar to Reddit, the concept is the same, but not the flaws. The whole Pikabu site has lots of empty page space; the blank white spaces, especially on the right, are not aesthically appealing. Even if the developers wanted to keep the site simple, what they should have done is to align the content to the center of the page so the screen doesn’t look so empty and bland.

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9. Germany

The designers of Bild perhaps drew inspiration from a teen magazine or maybe something like US Weekly. The moment you open the site, huge banners pop out at you, which could even put vibrant Disney posters to shame. The page is filled to the brink with large colorful images bearing the articles’ headlines. The use of these big images without a doubt is a brilliant idea to make thee text more prominent, but this also gives the site an overpowering effect. Beware, looking at the images on the site for too long could send you in a color frenzy or a diabetic coma.

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The only unappealing aspect about Chip is perhaps all the wasted space on the site. There isn’t much content, but a lot of space is allotted to it, leaving the page with blank areas, unnecessary scrolling and wasted effort.

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When you see T-online, the first thing you’ll notice is that the page is divided into three sections. Space on both sides of the page is left to accommodate two large advertisement banners. The center however is used to display content, where everything looks like it is squashed together. This layout gives the page a somewhat grisly and crabbed look.

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10. France

Unlike other e-commerce websites, Cdiscount doesn’t have the conventional navigation issue. The site displays the products clearly and has a sticky top menu. However the issue is with the font. In the menus, in the product descriptions and in many other places the text size is tiny. Concentrating on every sentence to read it correctly is almost a herculean task that could get the elderly squinting in no time.

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Anyone who thinks they can decipher all of the content on the Le Monde site in a quick glance or two is gaga. The site is jam-packed with articles. The inner sections of the site have page bars to navigate through the multitude of articles, but the homepage is another story. What should be done is that either slides or accordion menus should be integrated into the main page, or only one selective article or in-focus article per category should be displayed on the homepage to cut down on content.

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Checking out the website of France’s oldest national daily is painful. Le Figaro might be an excellent publication but scrolling through all the articles will cause your hand to hurt. You can easily switch to another section with the sticky hamburger menu on top, but scouring through all those articles on each page, will make the possibility of your throbbing hand falling off, an optimistic thought.

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About The Author

Eva is a marketing major with a keen interest in web design. She is also an explorer and loves to dig into web trends from mobile apps to visual communication and everything in between. Feel free to send her your web design queries or blog related feedback in the comments below.

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