Friday, January 29, 2010

"Backside" Bad Sites

I'm sure all of you have encountered visiting some really horrible looking websites that made you go:"OMG! What were they thinking?". Whilst there isn't any specific rule or law that governs what a website should look like, I do however feel strongly that there is a need to have certain quality control and standards; especially if it involves international brands.

I have two examples of international brands: Kotex by Kimberly-Clark and Krispy Kremedoughnuts, that have been bastardized by our talented Malaysian web designers. You would think that these large corporations (or brand guardians) will spend more money in hiring better quality web designers rather that getting it cheap by outsourcing to freelancers to do the job. Now I'm not sure if these websites were outsourced to a freelancer, but if you ask me, it looks like an assignment by a first year college student.
Kotex Luxe microsite (

  1. There is this annoying animation that swipes across the product box. It's suppose to give the box a shiny gloss effect...WTH for?
  2. You probably require 3D glasses to read the footer text. It's so blur, you might end up getting a headache trying to read it.
  3. This site doesn't cater for large screens. The design here is tiled and my guess is that the designer was using a 15 inch screen while working on the website. My screen size is only 17 inches, which is small by todays standard.
  4. There is this annoying background music that loops and sounds straight out of a porno video. I'm not kidding!
  5. The flash animation is so slow. The designer probably animated the website using an older version of Flash or at a very low frame rate. My guess is...this website was done using a very old machine - 15inch screen, old Flash version, cannot support high frame rate animation.
Krispy Kreme Malaysia ('s NOT HEALTHY to look at this website for a long time. Not because of the doughnuts they are trying to sell you, but the website itself. Look at the background. It can make your eyes bleed and give you a headache. The worst part is, the background is not even tiled properly. Look at the third animated GIF button on the right...I mean..who uses animated GIFs anymore?? Again I feel this website was done by an amateur or it was done very last minute.

International brands or their brand guardians in Malaysia at least, should really put more thought and effort into a website design and how it would affect their company's image and brand. I feel there should be at least someone who needs to be checking and giving the "thumbs up" before making these websites live on the web. No company would want to make their brand look cheap.

I am actually saddened by the fact that many large corporate companies in Malaysia don't pay attention to how their brands are perceived online. Sure they have massive budgets for print, radio and even television ads, but online budgets here are often limited, that I sometimes do not blame the designers or agencies designing and producing such bad websites and online campaigns. It's because of budget constraints and the lack of knowledge on how important online media branding is; one of the reasons why companies in Malaysia are behind our neighbors like Singapore in terms of international brand penetration.

Unless corporate companies put and importance and change their perception of online media and branding, I do foresee more websites such as these two popping up in the near future. As the saying goes: "You pay peanuts, you get monkeys".

The All New Apple iPad

Photo by Gizmodo

Early this morning around 230AM Malaysian time, Apple unveiled its long awaited tablet dubbed the iPad. So what so special about the iPad you must be asking? Well, it's exactly that...NOTHING! To me, Apple has always been a trend-setter, a lifestyle changer and for arguement sake, some say makes the best operating system in the world. I've never really been an Apple fan for starters, and yes I believe after this post I probably get some hate mail, but lets be honest here; do we actually need the iPad?

As I mentioned, Apple has always been the forefront of trend setting devices; from the iPods, to the iMacs, to the iPhone. I got to admit it did a pretty good job in getting consumers to buy their products by making consumers feel that it's "cool" to own one. But "cool" does not always neccesarily translate to good functionality and features. The iPad for me is just an oversized iPhone on steroids. Many consumers and pundits were anticipating a breakthrough with all the hype building around the iPad, but yet features and capabilities are no different from the iPhone if not less. There is NO CAMERA in this device, which makes web cam and conference calls impossible. It DOES NOT OUTPUT HDMI (source by Gizmodo). Of all the features, I actually think this would be included by Apple as a standard. And most importantly, It still CANNOT MULTITASK which is a very big let down. Imagine you cannot listen your favourite music while writing an email nor can you Tweet and browse the internet at the same time. Multitasking is the very fundamentals of mobile computing, and unless Apple does otherwise, I don't see laptop or even netbook sales decreasing just as yet.

As for the name iPad, Apple with all it's "coolness" could really have came out with a better name than that. Other products that were unveiled at the launch includes iBooks and iWork, which is a stripped down version of Microsoft's Office. How original is that? For what it's worth, I see the iPad as a permanent replacement of the Amazon Kindle, which if you ask not as "cool" as the e-reader on the iPad. But if you ask me if it's a replacement for mobile computing?...maybe not just yet.