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 (http://kotexluxe.com.my/)
- There is this annoying animation that swipes across the product box. It's suppose to give the box a shiny gloss effect...WTH for?
- 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.
- 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.
- There is this annoying background music that loops and sounds straight out of a porno video. I'm not kidding!
- 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 (http://www.krispykreme.com.my)
Seriously...it'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".