I would like to nominate the 1-800-Flowers.com site
for its particularly egregious offenses against good
design and just plain common sense and suggest that
they are a good candidate if you do a book survey of
well thought-out web campaigns that failed owing to
one or two seemingly minor glitches.
I received a message promoting a special lily offer
last Monday. When I went to order it, I was told that
they don't deliver perishables on Monday. (Why they
sent out their message on a Monday morning is beyond
I persisted and ordered the flowers for Tuesday. They
allowed me only 210 characters for the message to my
sweetie and did not include "Romance" as one of the
drop down reasons for sending flowers.
Last time I ordered from this company, I completed a Bizrate survey after placing my order
and I received the bizarre message titled "2367189"
(or something like that) in return several days later.
I was going to report it as spam but decided to open
it anyway to see what it could be about and low and
behold it was the response from the company. In it,
their customer service rep assured me I was wrong and
that "romance was a code 14."
I think that all this merits a special award. I have read and enjoyed several of Jakob Nielsen's books
including "Designing Web Usability" which was lovingly
referred to as "the bible" by our PHD cognitive design
consultant from the now-extinct Cambridge Technology
Partners in a web design session. (We spent 100's of
hours designing a site which ran like a turtle but
that's another story.)
By the way, the flowers were lovely, as I am told.