Terrifying Web Design

Terrifying Web Design to Keep You Up at Night

Halloween might be the only time of the year that I don’t mind being scared. Maybe it’s the sugar rush or the thrill of transforming yourself for a day. Or maybe it’s because nothing seems to scare a designer more than bad design.

We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover; however, this rule doesn’t apply to websites. Your website is most likely the first interaction a potential customer has with your business. Do you want them to arrive at your site and find professional content with useful information that proves you are an industry leader, or do you want flashing rainbows and curly fonts to do the talking for you?

Disclaimer: From poor design decisions to “what were you thinking” moments, we have rounded up some of the scariest websites from around the web and locally. If you are the owner or designer of any of these sites, your business might be great, but your website just isn’t. Consider this a free website review (#SorryNotSorry).

Suzanne Collins Books

bad websites

President Snow would definitely be disappointed by the design of Suzanne Collins’ website. By the profound emotion and energy in her writing, I would expect her website to deliver that same feeling. However, the oddly placed (and unclickable) images are not very eye capturing. The text is all over the place and unformatted. It uses multiple fonts, has very little consistency and poor readability.  I am not even sure what’s happening with the awkward sidebar. Suzanne, if you’re reading this, please let me design you a beautiful website that does your writing justice!


As a designer, the main thing that I can’t get over about this site is the multiple versions of their logo. Instead of just using their nice, classy logo (shown in the top left corner), the prominent image on the site is an animation of the brand name that turns into a completely different logo entirely.  Not only is this a big design don’t, but the look and feel of the animated one is totally different from their main logo. In a way, it really cheapens the brand, especially when there isn’t a whole lot else to look at on the site.

BM Web Design

All I really have to say about this is that when you’re deciding who to hire as a web designer, make sure they are educated on current design trends, usability flow and that sometimes less is more. I mean, this site isn’t even responsive.

Minnesota House of Representatives

Seriously though, why do government websites always have to be so boring and awful? The overload of information and possible links to click on are enough to make anyone leave immediately.

Yale School of Art

I know this one has been shared a lot already, but I think it’s important to note that despite the fact people have been making fun of it for so long, it still hasn’t changed. According to the About page, the website is a “continuously evolving effort of many people from many disciplines within the Yale School of Art and its wider circles.” Meaning anyone at the school, student or faculty, can go and change the site. So with this I am wondering, is the website just an inside joke and people are now purposely trying to make it worse? Please, if you know, tell us. I am sure there are artists at this school who can create a spectacular website that really showcases the school’s talent.

J.D. Hoyt’s

As a foodie who has recently moved to Minnesota, I have been browsing every restaurant’s website in the area to find my new favorites spots. Listed as the 4th most popular restaurant in Minneapolis on TripAdvisor, J.D. Hoyt’s website does not do their delicious food and reputation justice. Which is sad, because it’s really hard as a designer to decide whether or not to try a new restaurant solely based on their website appearance. The black background and lack of typographic hierarchy makes for poor readability, and the layout is extremely bland (no pun intended).

Penny Juice

I think this site might actually give me nightmares. Please stop trying to give all of us migraines.

Horror Find

Last, but not least, I am leaving you with a Halloween gem. Horror Find defines themselves as a the Horror Halloween Search Engine. The only thing truly scary about this site is the design itself, but it’s a great place to search for terrifying content, articles, movies and Halloween happenings in any state. So if you’re still looking for something frightening to do this weekend, you can find it here.

25 Website Must Haves

Does your website need a refresh?

Download our FREE e-Book packed with tips and tricks for driving leads.

Get The Free Guide
Enjoy This Post?

Then subscribe to our blog to get (at least) 2 top articles on how to connect with your audience better and grow your business online quicker and easier.

Posted by Ariel Valley

Web designer, writer, social media lover and inbound marketer at Catch22 Marketing. Also known as a professional coffee taster, shoe enthusiast and film buff. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter @ariel_valley.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Talk to Us

Interested in what Catch22 can do for you… give us a call to have an informal chat about where you are and where you’d like to go.


Get a Free Review

Wondering how good your current inbound marketing set-up is? Send us a request and we’ll review your current inbound marketing set-up.

Free Website Review

Get Our Free Guide

Download our comprehensive “25 Must Haves guide for Generating Traffic, Leads and Sales” for free.

Download 25 Must Haves