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Haig's Law

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Haig's Law states:

The awfulness of a website's design is directly proportional to the insanity of its contents and creator.

A corollary to this states:

If a website still runs on Netscape, there is a high probability it was designed by a crazy person.

This is named after the Haig Report webpage, which is a riot of recursive links, varying fonts, enough colours to trigger an epileptic fit and content that makes Timecube look sane.

Haig's Law differs from the Timecube Law in that not all crazy pages are overly long, nor are all Timecube-type pages badly designed. Be aware of the confusion of the inverse fallacy - Fred Phelps' websites actually have reasonably spiffy designs that are easy on the eye, yet the content is as questionable as any other site suffering Haig's Law.


[edit] Origin of the "law"

"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." Tremble in fear before My angry fruit salad!

The Haig Report would appear to be a smear campaign launched against a Queensland couple by a disgruntled and deranged family member.[1] It also attacks various Queensland judges, accusing them of corruption. It even wants to sell broadband internet. However, the horrific site design makes it virtually impossible to actually navigate the site and read any of his claims.

[edit] Law of Exclamation

A frequently related concept is the idea of The Law of Exclamation which is an internet law that states:

The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.

Exceptions exist, like if the post includes something like "THE POPE IS A MINDCONTROLL LIZARD-NAZI!!!!one!!", then it's sarcasm that (hopefully) passes Poe's Law.

[edit] Other examples

  • Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to heaven!: downright awful design. Impossible to tell what is going on, badly used images, lots of CAPS LOCK, but a fairly restrained range of fonts.
  • Remember that you are an alien!: bonus points for the inconsistency in post design and the badly aliased animated gifs in the header and footer. Claws back minimal respectability in the form of a plain white backdrop.
  • TimeCube, the original bad web design site that mostly suffers through the effects of the Timecube Law. The swirly grid background is almost tasteful, but the joke really is in reading the source code.
  • WND, as with Info Wars, WND's revamped site was designed by someone with at least rudimentary experience of the internet, but look closely and you'll see adverts masquerading as stories, headlines that flash by too quickly, roll-over sections that appear without warning and its fair share of clutter. All the signs are there.
  • Conservapedia: worth mentioning only because it manages to even fuck up the simplicity of the default MediaWiki layout and monobook skin, and by cramming in a text wall known as "mainpageright", garbles the front page with too much information. Contrast the sleek layout of English language Wikipedia main page.
  • Richard Hoagland's Mars Tidal Model essay: He calls this a "paper," in imitation of the kind of thing scientists write. It is said that this unbelievable cock-up renders correctly in one browser. We haven't found which one yet.
  • The Afterlife, looking like the bastard love child of Geocities and Every Animated Gif Ever, all this site does is scroll up through a morass of moving gifs—and an epilepsy-inducing flashing background—presumably taking you on a trip (in more ways than the person behind this probably intended!) from Earth to Heaven. Where God is a bandana-wearing, guitar-rocking, dancing baby.
  • Satan's Rapture - ticks all the boxes: ALL CAPS, random fonts; font sizes and colours; scrolling banners; Timecube-esque in length.
  • The AL state legislature - just plain bad, with a side of downtime
  • Aggressive Christianity: [WARNING: link contains abortion imagery] Lots and lots of colors, broken links, typeface trickery, aspect ratio gone wrong, Timecube lengths, bizarre cult screeds. This one's got it all.
  • 4chan.org

[edit] Exceptions

  • Nizkor Project (http://www.nizkor.org/): It's got that typical design from the '90s, thus looking as terrible as some of the above pages, but its objective is to present arguments against Holocaust denial.
  • Quackwatch (http://www.quackwatch.org/): The site has a somewhat old-fashioned design, not completely horrible but also not the most appealing, and it's good for knowing what's wrong with alternative medicine. You might call this an example of substance over style.
  • Fox Nation: It's put together like any other professional news website, but it's the kind of crowdsourced "stories" that even Fox News won't host due to their unverifiability and bias.
  • Asimov Online: It's a good website about the scientist and author, but with absolutely deplorable nonexistent minimalist design.
  • Snopes: It was created in the 90's to debunk all those damned chain emails your mother thought you must see for some reason, but until 2016 the site still looked like it was still the 90's. Now it's improved to look like a ripoff of Yahoo news, which isn't saying too much, but at least it won't make you want to scratch off your corneas.

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

Articles on RationalWiki about Eponymous laws
  Badger's Law  -  Danth's Law  -  Feminist internet laws  -  Godwin's Law  -  Gore's Law  -  Haggard's Law  -  Internet law  -  List of Poe's Law examples  -  Loi de Poe  -  Murphy's Law  -  Poe's Law  -  Rove's Law  -  Whale.to  
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