It’s not often that I find a site so awful I feel the need to point it out in public, but today I ran across one of those exceptions. Authorlink, a site supposedly featuring resources for writers, is so terribly organized that, if they hired me to redo it, I can’t even say where I’d begin. Navigation, certainly—the blue and orange blocks do nothing to direct visitors, and the categorized links in the left column do the same job, only much better. All of the images would go, and if sponsors weren’t satisfied with a Google-like text link, they could damn well conform to some sort of standard size. The ad menagerie is ugly and distracting.
The biggest problem with the site, I think, is that it doesn’t have a clear goal. Where is it trying to focus your attention? Why does their search box search the entire web instead of just their site? Why have they stashed exclusive interviews and other valuable content in the same column as generic (and centered, hard-to-read) publishing headlines? Why on earth is their URL repeated in the address section? Aren’t we already there?
As a writer, I’m lost and confused on the site. As a web designer, I’m appalled. Someone needs to teach these people the value of organization and whitespace.