As part of a freelance job, I recently had to design a small advert to be placed on TruckNet UK. When I visited the site this first thing that struck me was how badly designed it is. Visually it's not much to look at but just spend a couple of minutes trying to use it and you will see what I mean. It's almost as though it has been conceived as an example of how NOT to make a website.
Take, for example, the main tabbed navigation across the top of the page. The first link, Trucking Jobs, goes to a page on a completely different website, opened in a new window! The second link goes to a page simply saying 'under construction'. The third link goes to an 'events' section which has no events listed for any day of the year. The fourth link is exactly the same as the first but with the text Recruiting rather than Trucking Jobs. The fifth is a forum but they call it RoundTable which, to a newcomer, is not obvious. Finally the last link also opens a page from different website in a new window. As if that wasn't inconsistent enough, some pages such as the Submit a Link page display an identical-looking menu but whose links all point to different pages, most of which are full of incomprehensible errors.
And it doesn't stop there. The menu on the left is all over the place with more links to the same site that was already linked twice in the main menu. Most pages do not contain a link back to the home page. The footer contains links to two identical pages with different names and another blank page. Then in the right column there's a small banner for "The TruckNet Drivers RoundTable: Open 24-7". Most people would ignore this advert yet it conceals the trucking forum which seems to be the only useful part of the whole site. BUT, on every page bar the homepage, that banner actually leads an error page! I could go on...
Surely nobody uses such a poor website, I hear you exclaim. Alas, this is the most popular trucking website in the country! It claims over 60,000 unique visitors per week and has a very active community in its (very well hidden) forums.
All of which begs the question: if a website this bad can do this well, am I just wasting my time?