So I've been tasked for finding some sources on why our current website is poorly designed.

The site is currently, in my opinion, in a raw ugly form, though I'm no UI expert myself.

I'm using google's material design library for angular so it's at least consistent in it's look and feel.

That said, our executive team needs sources on why it's bad. I've sourced google material guidelines as one, I was curious if there was another good "Source of truth" on UI design that would allow me to pull out some quotes to demonstrate the poor design of the current site.

  • Sorry, this site isn't intended to be used for site reviews. If you have specific questions regarding a particular aspect of user experience, we might be able to help you with that. Jan 8, 2018 at 21:07
  • Sorry, I wasn't expecting a review, just looking for a source on user experience for my personal use to review and share that experience with my company. Just linked the site in case anyone was curious.
    – cphilpot
    Jan 8, 2018 at 21:09
  • 2
    This is a question about how to review sites, not a request to actually review one.
    – dennislees
    Jan 8, 2018 at 21:10
  • @dennislees You are right, my apologies cphilpot! I misinterpreted the intent of the question. I'd get started by checking out an oft-cited resource on this site, Nielsen-Norman Group. They write data-driven articles on user experience. Start by browsing their topics and popular articles to see which articles might apply to your site. There you can find the terms needed to spur subsequent internet searches. Jan 8, 2018 at 21:16
  • @dennislees I agree but I think including the site in the question is what makes people think OP is just asking for a review, if it were removed i think it would be much more clear he's simply asking how. But I'll leave that for someone else to decide.
    – DasBeasto
    Jan 8, 2018 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


Identify how the UI should work, and see where it fails to do that

You essentially have to hold your site up against a definition of proper function, and see where it falls short.

Use a list of usability heuristics to evaluate the essential function

In 1994 the N/NG released a list of 10 Usability heuristics. These are basic rules of thumb, guidelines to be used to assess if your site is checking the most basic of boxes.

This article gave rise to a legion of related articles that expand on these points with examples. Here are just a couple:

Find and use a comprehensive UI review list

There's an exhaustive, if a little dated, list of UI components and they should function at this link:


With a little searching you might find a more modern list. In any case, you need to go through your site and see where it's failing to meet the standards described.

A point about 'ugliness'

You'll note that none of the above refers to how ugly or pretty the site is. Yes, when you drill into the lists you'll find points about aesthetics, but ultimately it doesn't matter how a site looks if the navigation is confusing or broken.

It can be argued that a clean modern look and feel communicates more professionalism than one that looks like it was made in 1998, but that's just on first impression.

Users are the opposite of marketing and product managers in that they care much more about function than about form.

A good site can be "ugly", providing it clearly communicates its content, and facilitates fuss-free use.

  • Thanks, I appreciate the honest feed back and this will definitely help me build a case. I've seen this site before but wasn't sure about it's reputability (The nn group one).
    – cphilpot
    Jan 9, 2018 at 12:51
  • Yes, absolutely do a heuristic evaluation. NNGroup are the "gurus on top of a mountain" of usability. Their claims are based on research. Jan 10, 2018 at 17:00

In addition to a Heuristic Evaluation, you should do your own evaluation of how well your site helps users accomplish the goals they have when they visit.

Why are people coming to your site? (Rather than relying on what your executives and the Marketing Dept say, it's best to talk with actual users to find this out.) Does your site guide users toward the solutions they need? Are there ways that it can do that better?

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