12 Comments

Summary:

Old-timey sites have been getting web 2.0 upgrades in recent months, the kind of thing that makes me far more likely to use them than all those high-priced Google AdWords they buy. I’ve happily noted Southwest Airlines‘ makeover (options like “Book a Flight” and “Check in […]

Old-timey sites have been getting web 2.0 upgrades in recent months, the kind of thing that makes me far more likely to use them than all those high-priced Google AdWords they buy.

I’ve happily noted Southwest Airlines‘ makeover (options like “Book a Flight” and “Check in Online” have finally made their way to front and center), and am marginally pleased with the recent fresh coat of paint at IMDB.

Perhaps you can go overboard; USA Today got some negative feedback on its redesign this week, which added a slew of reader participation features.

But I was flabbergasted to find myself on the normally painful Hotels.com, finding useful information about places to stay on my recent vacation.

Supposedly this happened last August, so I’m a bit behind the times. But honestly, the amount of reloads and unavailable information and opaque pricing had made me run far away and never want to come back.

Now, Hotels.com has AJAXy maps with landmarks, easily navigable tags with resources like virtual tours and photos, and an actual phone number displayed on every page about a hotel. I might even use it on purpose!

So what do you think? What sites are in need of an upgrade? What recently redesigned sites should we give a second chance? (OK fine, Craigslist, you can be exempt.) If you have an Extreme Makeover: Website Edition brainstorm and want to share the image share with rest of us, send it to info a t giga om dot com.

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  1. Craigslist actually isn’t exempt, believe it or not. You should have seen the Design Eye panel at SXSW last year where my bros did a gratis redesign for Craig. The results were stunning and great.

    Besides that, I’d throw in some obvious choices: eBay, USA Today (even with last week’s redesign), and 99% of all U.S. government pages.

  2. I guess I was assuming that if Craig and co. haven’t been receptive to last year’s suggestions by now it’s a lost cause. At least they have RSS feeds.

    An eBay redesign, though!? Could you throw in a working search engine with that too?

  3. Deirdré Straughan Thursday, March 8, 2007

    My own. HTML tables are so old hat. But I don’t have the money or in-house expertise (in da house there’s only me) to do much about it at the moment.

  4. Jacob Varghese Thursday, March 8, 2007

    Mike, I love that Craigslist makeover.

    I’d have to say Amazon needs a makeover.
    It’s the only site that I use regularly that I get frustrated with.

  5. Matt MacQueen Thursday, March 8, 2007

    http://www.businessweek.com could use some help, it feels about Web1.25

  6. I would volunteer Forbes.com as a candidate for Web 2.0 makeover. They really need to make the site more user (and not advertiser) friendly. aka find a common ground between usability and money.

  7. I nominate the ZDNet blogs for a makeover–though I think they recently had one. It’s almost impossible to read the threaded comments and the pages are cluttered and uninviting. It seems like it’s more about the advertising and driving you to read other ZDNet stuff than about the great content.

    And as far as sites that DIDN’T need an upgrade, I nominate Yahoo! maps. Maybe I’m a luddite, but I like the old version better than the new and better than Google Maps. It’s just cleaner and simpler.

  8. Sumit Chachra Thursday, March 8, 2007

    For one I hate the southwest makeover (and will blog about it soon).

    It breaks the back button, takes longer to load and much like yahoo they’ve just changed the homepage. It basically makes my task of buying a ticket twice as slow as before… can’t say thats a good thing

  9. Our website needs to be nuked and started again from the ground up – http://www.smith-nephew.com

    I just need to persuade people we need to just get on and do it!

  10. If there was ever a website that needed a makeover and is insanely popular — it is Plentyoffish.com. This company is run by one person (yes. One single person!) and claims to be the largest dating site in the world. I saw the owner on panel at a Social Networking conference in Miami — couple seats down from Yahoo. He refuses to re-design.

    Is this the ‘Craigslist’ of dating?

    Can it successfully be redesigned?

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