CSCI 1210

Essentials of Web Development

Homework 1 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

Tasks to Complete

We have all seen some bad websites. By "bad" websites, we are referring to "bad design". You know, the sites that have...

  • hideous color combinations
  • bad layout
  • endless scrolling
  • broken links
  • misspelled words
  • no contrast in the text color and background color
  • flashing text and images
  • endless download times
  • "mystery meat navigation"
Most "bad" sites don't commit all of these design mistakes, but it only takes one or two to convince you to never visit the site again. Here are some websites that have made the Daily Sucker list on or have been suggested by students in previous semesters. Check them out and see if you can figure out why they made the list...

As I mentioned in lecture, the distinction between "Bad" and "Ugly" is a little vague. IMO, "Bad" means a site, which may be esthetically pleasing otherwise, includes errors such as broken links and images that don't display while "Ugly" speaks for itself. It's entirely possible for a site to be both "Bad" AND "Ugly", but not necessarily.

    ...This one isn't as bad as it used to be: Check this version out!
    ...This one has actually been updated since last semester. It doesn't suck nearly as badly as it used to Courtesy of the Internet Wayback Machine
    This one is particularly heinous, especially since I once heard, somewhere, that Yale is supposed to be a good school. Click on a few of the links to see what I mean

The goal for this class is not to just create websites, but to design websites that work well for the people who use them. you're creating/designing websites this semester, keep in mind all of the annoying and poorly designed websites that you have come across so as not to make the same mistakes.

  1. Visit all of the sites listed. Consider some of the features that you feel are bad designs and those that you might feel are good designs.
  2. After looking the sites over, you are to post to the discussion forum on D2L an entry under each of the following topics: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. For each one, you are to list at least 1 website (you may list more than 1). If you only list one in a category, it can’t be one from the examples provided here. It must be one that you have found on your own that you would personally put in that category and write a critique explaining why. If you choose to discuss more than 1, the additional ones that you discuss can be from the list if you want. Each student must post this individually in the Discussion area of D2L (you should have a total of 3 submissions, one for the Good, one for the Bad and one for the Ugly). Make sure it is clear which sites you are critiquing in your post. You must include the URL in the post.
  3. This week, review the comments left by your classmates and reply to any comments you find notable. For credit, you must post at least one reply per thread.
  4. A final catch: The sites you choose for Step 2 must be unique. If someone has already used, for example, you can't use it for your post.