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Good Design Sells, Bad Design… Sucks at Trader’s Narrative

Recently, two very popular financial sites did a redesign. One was a hit, and one was a miss. I’m not a professional designer but as a user I know almost instantly if a website sucks.

Bloomberg’s redesign is the one I think was a hit. It is very different but still simple, elegant and surprisingly easy on the eyes considering the black background. Everything except the most important headlines is tucked in behind the top level menus. Bloomberg continues with the grid system of design they had before. Only now there is more content on the frontpage and they have also astutely added videos to the frontpage. As all good design, Bloomberg’s manages to make the content become the star while the layout itself melt away into the background.

New Design:
bloomberg new design.png

Old Design:
bloomberg old design.png

Marketwatch on the other hand messed up a good thing. As opposed to Bloomberg’s major overhaul, they only tweaked their design but in the end made the site much less useable. One of the things that bothered me is that they changed the top level menus. You just don’t do that. People are used to going to a certain place and expect to find the info where they always do. Another element I don’t like is how fragmented the site’s content is now. It is devided into columns, sub columns, boxes, etc. making it cluttered and busy. You’ve got to hand it to a designer who can take the most simple template based on the grid design and make it a disjointed mess.

New Design:
marketwatch new design.png

Old Design:
marketwatch old design.png
Finally, I’ve saved my scorn for a website that sucks big time: Instantbull. It is so bad I’m not even going to link to it. Why do I not like it? For one, it is an aggregator and has no original content. Basically it is a bunch of bookmarks mushed together. But the reason I will not be going back ever to it is that it commits the most heinous and unforgivable sin of web design: it hijacks your browser.

I use Mozilla and since I have javascript disabled, when I first arrived on their website, I saw an empty square. Apparently, everything on their page relies on javascript - that right there is a major mistake. But I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and I enabled javascript. Instantly their code jacked my browser and resized it to a square. Why, I have no idea. And I really don’t care. There are way too many great sites out there to waste time and energy wrangling with crappy ones.

For more websites that suck, visit Web Pages That Suck.

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