Web Pages That Suck

Vincent Flanders

E-mail: Vincent@vincentflanders.com

Vincent has written two best-selling books on Web Design -- "Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design" and its sequel, "Son of Web Pages That Suck." Both books are based on his award-winning web site Web Pages That Suck. (The links on the right will take you to his web sites.) Also, check out his biography.

As one Fortune 100 company executive stated, "(Vincent's) an extremely entertaining speaker who provides clarity through hilarity -- educating an audience while entertaining them." Vincent also provides more "serious" (well, they're still not boring) seminars and training on web design.

Vincent offers the following:

Speeches (directly following)
Panel Discussions (see me in action)
Seminars and Training

In addition, you can see a list of where Vincent has spoken.

In the interest of conserving Internet bandwidth, videos are no longer posted except for the one listed below. If your program coordinator is interested in seeing online videos of Vincent's presentations, please e-mail.

Mystery Meat Navigation is a bad design technique that's become very popular in recent years. If you have to mouse over a graphic to discover whether it's a link and where the link will take you, then you've experienced the tasty delight of Mystery Meat Navigation.

Here's why this technique is evil. (Flash 350Kb -- new window)


The problem with most speakers is they're boring. While that's acceptable for a big-name corporate speaker (after all, many attendees just want to meet the big shots from the powerful companies in their industry), it's death for most seminars and tradeshows.

Vincent gives two types of speeches:

1. Speeches to audiences who need to be entertained.

Everybody has a web site and this target audience simply wants to be entertained by viewing "Car Wrecks on the Information Highway" -- as long as their site isn't the car wreck. (If there are companies you do or don't want mentioned, you'll need to provide a list to Vincent 30 days before the speech.)

Any group makes a good audience for this type of speech and the best fit is an organization -- doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc., Normally, Vincent will give a keynote or luncheon speech and he's been used to launch a show and to start the afternoon sessions -- whatever it takes to get the audience ready for the rest of the sessions. While Vincent educates the audience, the speech is geared toward getting people in a good mood.

Please note: Vincent is quite willing to provide your seminar attendees private "critiques" of their sites. Please go to "Critiques."

If you have questions about this type of speech, please e-mail

2. Speeches to audiences who want to learn while they're being entertained.

The only difference between this audience and the first is that it directly applies to the other speeches. The audience is educators, designers, information technology managers, etc., who are attending a conference or seminar directly relating to web design and how it should be used. Vincent shows examples of the incorrect use of stylesheets, graphics mistakes, navigational miscues, and inaccessible and unusable sites -- topics that will be the focus of later in-depth seminars by other presenters. Once again, he sets the mood for the rest of the speakers.

Please note: Vincent is quite willing to provide your seminar attendees private "critiques" of their sites. Please go to "Critiques."

If you have questions about this type of speech, please e-mail

All speeches are tailored to the audience. Vincent creates each speech for the needs and interests of the audience. While he avoids using sites from the audience, he will occasionally use a "reverse example" a nice site and say "These people would never do anything stupid like this example."

Panel Discussions.

Battle of the really pale gurus

Vincent also participates in panel discussions where he'll discuss topics presented by a moderator or answer questions posed by an audience.

Based on an interview in CIO magazine Vincent and usability author Jakob Nielsen had a usability "WrestleMania" panel discussion at VNU's Online Learning expo in Anaheim.

If you have questions about panel discussions, please e-mail Vincent



Instead of a speech, Vincent can provide an on-site critiquing session for your attendees or it can be done in conjunction with a speech. A standalone critiquing session would be four hours. If Vincent gives a one-hour speech, he can be available for a 3 hour critiquing session -- or whatever both parties negotiate.

The song "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die" has its counterpart in the world of web design -- "Everybody wants their site critiqued, but nobody wants to have it critiqued in public."

Here's how a critique session with Vincent would work:

The hosting group would provide Vincent with:

  1. A room that is closed off from the general public.
  2. A computer that has a high-speed connection to the Internet -- a low-speed connection would be even more amusing because site-loading time is a factor in design.
  3. A tape recorder and microphone.
  4. Blank tapes

Individuals would be ushered into the room and they would give Vincent the URL of the site they want critiqued. He would then give a "Quick Critique" -- usually 6-10 minutes in length. As you know, first impressions of a site are the ones that are most valuable because that's how it works in the real world -- you only have a few seconds to make an impression.

As Vincent critiques the site, his comments would be recorded and when the critique is completed he would give the attendee the tape so they could review it back at the office. The attendee would leave and the next person would be ushered in. The host would have to decide who gets in and in what order. The whole critique process would be private -- and that's the charm.

Vincent also provides web design, usability and accessibility critiques for individual sites outside of tradeshows and seminars. Please contact him for details.

Contact Vincent about site critiques.

Seminars and Training

Vincent gives private seminars and training courses -- usually under non-disclosure agreements. Your topic is his topic, but the two topics he's stressing are:

"Developing Your Critical Eye" -- a course for IT managers and professionals

"Fast 508: -- accessibility without the attitude" How to make your web site accessible as quickly as possible


Where Vincent has given speeches

Many of Vincent's seminars and speeches are to closed groups under non-disclosure. However, some of the places he has given keynotes and speeches include:

  • Indiana University WebDevShare
  • InternetWorld
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • VNU Online Learning (with Jakob Nielsen)
  • Insurance Marketing Communications Association and the Life Communicators Association
  • International Association for Human Resource Information Management
  • Society for Technical Communication Willamette Valley
  • Content Week 2001
  • WinWriters Online Help Conference
  • CorelWorld
  • ThunderLizard's Web Design Series (twice)

He's appeared on CNN, PBS, TechTV's Screen Savers, and been interviewed on numerous radio programs.


Read about Web Pages That Suck Read about Son of Web Pages That Suck