Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Failed Redesigns

Here’s your chance to nominate sites that have had ‘failed redesigns’ – a new design in the past couple of years that has blatently ignored web standards. To quote:

A failed redesign is a Web page created from scratch, or substantially updated, during the era of Web standards that nonetheless ignores or misuses those standards. A failed redesign pretends that valid code and accessibility guidelines do not exist; it pretends that the 21st century is frozen in the amber of the year 1999. It indicates not merely unprofessional Web-development practices but outright incompetence. For if you are producing tag-soup code and using tables for layout in the 21st century, that’s what you are: Incompetent.

There are many examples, but I’d like to use InformationWeek as one since its redesign only happened quite recently – within the past couple of months, if that. Table-based markup with spacer GIFs, fixed with size that will only work on 1024×768 screens and a ridiculous amount of embedded Flash for adverts that had a noticable effect on my browser’s performance (Firefox on OS X). There’s no DOCTYPE so it’s rendered in Quirks Mode in most browsers, and even when assuming its HTML 4.01 the validator finds 959 errors on the home page alone. And this was a redesign done in late 2005 – 3 years after Wired News converted to a standards-based design. CNet, one of its other big competitors, has been bitten by the standards bug for some time now too – its markup is like a work of art compared to InformationWeek’s grotty, trodden-on pile of slurry.
If you want to take part in Failed Redesigns, tag your posts with ‘failedredesigns’.
[Via Web Standards Project]


  1. Glad CNET’s move to standards has helped. First cut was done in September 2003, and the October 2005 redesign took it a step further. Still not perfect, but… at least we missed the failed list! 😉

  2. OK, I’m sorry – I’ve got to put this in
    The Disney Store UK.
    They’ve bloody ruined it.

  3. Hi Neil, came in via the Technorati tag – I found MSN UK Entertainment’s poor effort today 😯