Terrible Design Gems From Failed Campaigns

Swan dive or belly flop?

A successful digital marketing campaign combines social media savvy, beautiful designs, and efficient marketing tactics. If your campaign is flopping on any of these, it’s likely to fail miserably. Like a belly flop into a wading pool, your marketing campaign will make a splash…but not in a good way. 

 

In order to inspire you–or warn you away from some disastrous common mistakes when crafting your digital marketing campaign, here are some of the worst examples we’ve ever set our eyes on.

 

Pobody’s nerfect, as they say. But very few failed marketing campaigns are quite as noteworthy as these gems!


The Basics of Good Design

Before we get into the bad and the ugly, what does a good website design look like? There are a number of elements needed in order for your website design to be effective and attractive:

 

  • Navigation that is user-friendly and clear
  • Proper use of color and animation
  • A layout that is easy to use and easy on the eyes
  • Colors and themes that are visually appealing
  • Content-appropriate design elements that highlight the content
  • High-quality content that’s easy to find, navigate, consume, and share

A well-designed website drives traffic to your store or increases sales of your products and services. As you can imagine, the following examples failed to respect at least on of these guidelines…and sometimes, more.

Blinkee.com


The idea behind this design is that since the business sells objects that glow in the dark and blink with lights, the designer chose to set everything against a black background with all the products blinking. There are a few issues here, despite that seemingly on-theme design choice.

 

First, the images and text are much too small–a website visitor needs to zoom in in order to capture the details, which is a recipe for losing potential sales. The products should be front and center, so they need to be an appropriate size. The fact that all the products are blinking is jarring–some animation is fine, but when all the elements are animated, it’s much too busy. Next, reading text on a black background, especially small text, is a major strain on the eyes. Visually, there is too much going on. There seem to be two frames for no apparent reason–one on the left with the content, and an empty frame on the right. There is no clear navigation system; there are headings that can be clicked at the top, but also a menu of products on the right. Additionally, if you click on the images, you are sometimes brought to that item, while other times, you fall on a page with all the products in the same category. This navigation confusion can be cleared up with better organization of the content into a simpler menu structure.

 

An eCommerce website is all about the products, so they should always be front and center. The design should make the visitor want to stick around for a while and browse; the design of this website is too focused on the glow-in-the-dark concept and misses the mark altogether. It makes website viewers want to leave after only a few minutes.

 

Toronto Cupcake.com

 

First off, the sparse background is visually boring and won’t attract the attention you want from a prospective viewer. The repeated logos at the top of the page are small and hard to read–and the repetition is unnecessary. The color scheme should be on-theme and consistent throughout the site; in this case, you’d be hard-pressed to identify a theme at all. Navigation is hard to spot (there are three tiny lines in the pink header, did you see them? We didn’t either at first). The layout is quite bare and the image/text ratio is way off. It was risky of the designer to make the landing page into a covid-19 message–and it was a losing bet. Visitors want to see products and clickable elements to discover your products, not be slapped with a text-heavy message and no apparent ability to find the items you sell. Finally, the absence of clear navigation makes the overall user experience a dismal one.

 

Viewers should sense your brand as soon as they land on your website. Brand should be obvious and consistently present in the colors, text fonts, layout, and “feel” of your site. A sparse website leaves visitors feeling like they walked into a white room devoid of personality or character of any kind–and they won’t be leaving with any lasting impressions.

 

Exelon

 

This Fortune 500 company’s website doesn’t jive with the status of the company. The layout of the background pictures–with multiple heads cut off–is not well thought out. There are quite a few negative spaces that could have been adjusted to better suit the photo content! Spaces matter in website design. Negative space can be used for cool effects–but in this case, the viewer just gets the urge to shift everything down! The writing is hard to read over the pictures. The contrast on many visual elements is off-kilter. The menu and color scheme are drab and don’t draw the eye. 

 

Your website is the first look customers get of your company–your “storefront” if you will–and it should reflect you in every way. A good designer will integrate your branding and color scheme throughout your site, and ensure all elements are high-resolution, eye-catching, and laid out properly in the space.


Website design is an art. Designing an on-brand, eye-catching site that reflects your company’s unique flavor and values is the key component of an effective digital marketing campaign. You want to ensure your website is designed and updated with quality content, visual appeal and clear navigation for the best user experience. At the end of the day, that will convert to an increase in sales and lead generation.

 

Need help with designing and updating your business website to be the best it can be? At Wyred Insights, we love working with businesses to make their technology better…and improve their marketing. Give us a shout to find out how we can help make your business better together.

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