Ugly Awards 2005 (And Best Code)

Every once in a while we sign on to help a company build a web site and halfway through the project we realize the client wants to play art director. Sometimes this is a great experience and the client helps us realize a design potential we hadn’t considered. Other times, as was the case last year, the client can have a surprisingly bad sense of design.

But have you ever worked with a client that had a design sense so bad it amazed you? So bad that even if you tried really hard with tools like MS Paint you probably couldn’t make it uglier than what the client made?

That happened to us last year, and we played along… for six months! (We won’t be linking to the site here on BrainFuel by the way)

As an inside joke I created an award for Ugliest Site of the Year 2005 and Best Code of the Year 2005. Essentially it makes fun at our attempt to create a wonderfully built site despite a horrible design. The site is clean on the inside having been built to be standards compliant. Even if the client doesn’t understand CSS layouts and edits the site with FrontPage after we’re through, we still did our best. Here’s to winning less awards like this.

They also forgot to pay their bill, too, so I guess bad business goes with bad design.

6 responses to “Ugly Awards 2005 (And Best Code)”

  1. If it weren’t for the great possibility of burning bridges unnecessarily and bad PR by speaking bad of clients pubicly, this would be an awesome award, cause I’m sure we’ve all been in that boat once or twice.

  2. I can think of a few candidates from my clients. We have an internal shite list we do and we refer to certain types of bad clients by other bad client’s names – I think we all need a release in our companies from those clients that make you want to labotomise your brain with a usb drive pen.

  3. I’ve got a client I really like. He’s the nicest guy in the world, and I love working with him. Normally we end up with a pretty good product whenever we work together. But there was one occasion he was desperate to have something “different and bright” so I did 3 mockups, a couple of nice ones, and one with bright blue yellow and green. Real bright. Eye-stabbing bright. Primary, lego-construction bright.

    Well, we all know where this story is going 🙂

  4. Just to be clear on this, a client has a distinct choice about whether they want to make your life a living hell and this client made that choice. I don’t downtalk clients lightly and in this case it’s hugely warranted. They get the award for the worst client experience in my life.

  5. “Chris,

    This post is good but it’s not working for me. Maybe something with a little more “pop”, you know? And the letters need to be more contemporary. And the new stuff doesn’t go with what we already signed off on before. I’d like to revisit that before we go any further.

    My brother’s friend’s daughter’s soccer coach is in marketing so I don’t mean to critique your awesome design “skills”… but I think if you listen to my requests we’ll have a better product. Plus we want a drop shadow.

    So to summarize – start from scratch without getting paid more and then I’ll say yes or no depending on if I’m upset at my high golf score tomorrow.”

    If I had the same amount of professionalism as a few of my problem clients I’d nominate them for sure.

  6. Have you seen it when the text is on fire? I like that.

    Oh and dancing babies, we like dancing babies.

    Aside from that i feel there is just ‘something missing’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.