Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was researching a story yesterday for a client newsletter, and came across the worst web site I've seen in years: ADHD-inducing formatting, about a dozen different fonts, underlined text that didn't hyperlink, different navigation on every page, dark background, the works. An equally unruly disaster in Firefox and Safari, and worst of all, I couldn't find or access the bio information that I needed. It was so embarrassing that I refuse to link to it here for fear of humiliating the owner.

But her sin wasn't that the site was ugly, it was that it didn't function right. There are, after all, certain things in this world that are simultaneously functional and ugly--let's call it fugtional. My first car, a faux-wood-paneled 1982 Ford Escort, comes to mind. My favorite beat-up running shoes. And surely my old business web site, a DIY hand-coded HTML monsterpiece that was never intended to survive as long as it did. It was ugly, but it was OK from a usability standpoint. (Older and wiser, I am using a professional to create my upcoming new web site.)

I didn't find the word "fugtional" in Urban Dictionary, so I'm staking my claim to it here and now.


  1. I like fugtional. I was thinking, what about the funny-looking stuff--not ugly but certainly not plain either--that is nonetheless functional. flunctional? (for funny looking yet functional)? (cuz Jennifer here, btw.)

  2. My only problem with that is the initial sound of "flunk" implying an unsatisfactory result. Maybe just double up the "n," so "funnctional"?

  3. Well, bother. There goes my new career in word coinage. And my new means of describing my dog Fable, who has a roundish body perched atop four skinny chicken legs. Definitely funny looking; completely functional at 12 years old.