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It surprises me how large, successful businesses and organizations can run websites that lack design standards and even an ounce of creativity. For example, take a look at NYC.gov and tdbank.com: What do you notice? B-o-r-i-n-g, right? These sites have the potential to be far more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing than they are now.  How? Let’s deconstruct:


Let’s be honest here; New Yorkers are always in a rush. They need to be able to find information as quickly and efficiently as possible. NYC.gov is the hub for information on services, elected officials, and news in New York City. Unfortunately, the site’s main feature seems to be poorly structured navigation and  a plethora of text.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 11.27.54 AM

The site is cramped–built for the days of small monitors–so the text is crammed into a small area and becomes difficult to read. Even more annoyingly, a giant blank dotted space fills up the right side of my browser. There does not seem to be a hierarchy for content; everything is posted onto the right sidebar. Every navigation item is located on the left instead of being divided into main sections and subsections. The space that is in the center contains news and updates, with small text that most people might have trouble reading. I understand not everyone might associate a government website with creativity, but some friendly colors and a full UI overhaul might just make visitors feel somewhat more welcome and less frustrated.


Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 11.27.24 AM

Next up, tdbank.com. I haven’t seen banking websites worse than this (feel free to leave a comment on any sites that take the cake). They frequently run expensive advertising campaigns on TV (remember Regis and Kelly?) and in the subways, but they can’t seem to scrape up the money for a better website! Worse, their website makes for an inconsistent brand given that all of their locations are clean, welcoming, modern, and friendly. (They give treats to dogs! You win small bottles of hand sanitizer if you guess your coin count correctly! They could absolutely bring that friendly vibe to their website.) Currently, their site features a white and green, sterile design, devoid of any life. Just text, text everywhere. Standard blue links with underlines.  Not even styled! And in Chrome, the images don’t load. It absolutely boggles my mind.  To be completely honest, if I didn’t use their site I would be pretty sure that it was a fraud. And that’s definitely not good.

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