Introducing Haig’s Law


A couple of posts ago, I pondered whether or not there should be some sort of Internet law, to describe the phenomenon of insane websites appearing to be designed by colourblind hippies on acid. I gave a few examples, and thanks to those of you that provided examples of your own (especially Disseisitus, Summer Seale and the indomitable Pi) I think I have a body of work sufficient to formulate the law (and thereby book my own little bit of internet immortality).

Thus, it is with pleasure that I present Haig’s Law:

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

It should be pointed out, that many crazy sites fall foul of Haig’s Law, as well as the Timecube law, which states:

As the length of a webpage grows linearly, the likelihood of the author being a lunatic increases exponentially.

However, you can have some Timecube-type websites that are quite well – as in “it won’t make you eyes bleed in 30 seconds – such as Tom Bearden’s Zero Point Energy site.

So… why Haig’s Law? Well, the name is taken from the Haig Report website (thank you Summer Seale! Also, follow the link at your own risk!) which is a bizarre amalgamation of attacks against the creator’s family, warnings about Queensland judges and God knows what else, all thrown together in a riot of fonts, colours and recursive links. Here’s an example:

I’ll give you a few moments to get over the epileptic fit that image induced…

The scary thing is that somebody sat down, did all the coding (or point-and-clicking in Frontpage or something), sat back, and said, “That looks awesome!”

It seems to be a common trait amongst the crazy that who cares about design, just as long as I communicate the Voices in my Head to the world! Fortunately, not all of them set out to make our eyes bleed. Take George “Ancient Aliens” Tsoukalous’ site Legendary Times for example:

Nothing too horrific in the layout, but… seriously… purple, pink and mustard as a colour scheme??

Now, let’s have a look at the Star Children site. This is supposedly something to do with monitoring the rise of meta-humans or something. And judging by the picture in the middle of screen, these are the demon spawn of Satan and the kids from Village of the Damned…

Ok, so I’ve sort of eased you into this (once you’d stopped hyper-ventilating at the Haig Report), so let’s pull out some of the big guns.

In my previous post, I used Jesus-is-Lord.com as an example. Here’s a refresher for you:

Now, this site looks positively sane, when compared to its cousin “Jesus-is-Savior.com“. It’s as if the latter’s web designer, saw the former and went “I can do better!” It’s another of those sites that’s a perfect mix of Haig and Timecube laws:

Ok, I’ve given myself a headache now, so I’m going to lie down for a bit, in a darkended room.

A Notable Inclusion

Here’s a classic example of Haig’s Law at work – it’s the North Korean News Agency, so you already know it’s going to be batshit insane… and the design is so minimalistic, it looks like a screencap from QBasic…

About PsyGremlin

PsyGremlin is a former Conservapedia sysop (although the position was earned nefariously), stand up comedian, DJ, and is currently a self-employed financial adviser, who impersonates a responsible adult at least 5 days a week. However, highlighting and poking fun at the crazies out there remains his first love. Well besides pork crackling. And custard. And cricket.
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9 Responses to Introducing Haig’s Law

  1. Summer Seale says:

    I’m honored to have been able to help out with this post. =) Just reposted it to G+.

    BTW, I think “Haig’s Law” is just perfect. Somebody ought to wikiwrite it up. =)

  2. Pi says:

    I am thinking we could quantify Haig’s law someone what. Obvious measures are number of animated gif, version of html it runs on. Colours seems tricky contrast is difficult to judge numerically. Numerically black and white is the highest contrast, but pink on dark green more the sign of a deceased mine. Mid blue on dark blue is low contrast and can in the right circumstances be either aesthetic choice or the decision of a mad man. But the amount of pink, yellow on the screen maybe measurable.

    We could introduce the measure of Haigs.

    • PsyGremlin says:

      I like that idea “Quantifying Haigness”… which sounds very Schlafly. 🙂
      Colours should be easy – if you’re using more than say 5 and they’re all primary colours. Also if your heading takes more than 2 “page downs” to read (such as http://wesdancin.wordpress.com/) you qualify.

  3. Summer Seale says:

    Could also add to that: Amount of blink text, all caps, extraneous punctuation, and font points above 12. =)

  4. Heh, I love this! But just wanted to remind everybody not to read *too* much into a site design sometimes.

    On my own site, focused on cutting-edge techie-geek matters, my first custom design was a deliberate parody. Loud colors in big blocky layouts with thick borders, done right at the height of CSS/Web 2.0 mania, intentionally mocking sites like Digg.com when it first launched… sadly, nobody got the joke and commented “WTF were you thinking?” I settled down after a few years and changed the layout to a saner, albeit still “very original”, design.

    Lesson learned: Don’t act like a crank and people won’t treat you like one.

    • PsyGremlin says:

      Lol! I think it’s a sign that the Internet is growing out of its spotty adolescent stage. In the past it was more a case of “Look! I haz website!” – when last did you see an “under construction” banner?

      But you’re right – these days, if your website looks terrible, the first impression is that the content will be equally awful. It doesn’t have to be a fundie site either – just look at http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/worst-websites-of-2011-Q1.html

  5. PsyGremlin says:
    • WWWWolf says:

      Yeah, I decided to post it there because I thought folks who mock conspiracy loons already knew this law in their hearts and were just looking for a proper name for it. =)

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