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The Worse the Design, the Worse the Crazy

It was recently suggested by Elyse Anders over at Skepchick to us here at Mad Art Lab the hypothesis that “the worse the design, the worse the crazy”. The website that provoked such a claim was Yvette’s Bridal Formal, a wonderland of crazy under the guise of an online store. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard legend of this website. It first came to my attention via Richard Wiseman’s The worst websites ever … Wiseman had the good sense to just link and run, but to test this claim demands a little more guts (or should I say stupidity?).

If you can’t bear to click on the link (and here’s a tip: you might not want to, and epileptics definitely shouldn’t), below is a glimpse at the homepage, and it really is just a glimpse. It takes 27 seconds to fast scroll to the end.

Firstly, I think it’s important to admit that I have no idea who Yvette is. Who is she? Does she even exist? This is something I cannot dig far enough to find out. The depths of this site plunge so far that I fear if I were to try, I would never emerge to see the sunlight again. But let’s forget about Yvette, because we can certainly find out who Sean Terrance Best is. He is who we have to thank for this site, and we’ll be finding out a hell of a lot about this guy. So let’s go! He is, after all, the crux on which our hypothesis hangs. He is an artist, a poet, an astrologer, a keen angler, a high priestess, a UFO enthusiast, a divine interpreter of the mystic world, an entrepreneur, and, lest we forget, a website designer to bring the world of website design to its knees.

The only way I can even begin to construct a coherent description of this man and this site, which I estimate to contain over 800 pages (and very likely even more), is to give myself a time limit of two hours, plunge in head first (leaving myself a trail of breadcrumbs to find my way back), and hand pick the glorious…

Top Five Crazies

  1. V8
    Those of you who are adventurous enough to visit the site may notice that it is plastered (absolutely friggin’ plastered) with references to “V8”. What is this elusive V8? Well, I’d love to explain myself. I really would. But I truly feel there is no more comprehensive an answer than Mr Best’s:
    V8,……..V as in the Roman Numeral for 5 and 8 a representation of the feminine form means many, many wonderful realities !! *~V8~* every 8 years the planet Venus traces out the pattern of a perfect 5 point star upon the Ecliptic, the Zodiac !! *~V8~* V8 is a symbol, an esoteric symbol of the Arcane which has existed for Ages and Epochs ~* V8 means that magical powers are real and that Sorcery, WitchCraft, Alchemy, Seeing into the Future are all REAL !! *~V8~* V8 also means that the Space Aliens are HERE! among us NOW! !! *~V8~* 

    You got that? Good.

  2. The Secret of Yvette’s
    Would you believe it? Sean has even published The Secret of Yvette’s. Now you too can start your own Yvette’s. Just follow these simple instructions:  

    At the Core of Yvette’s burns a Red Candle, a hidden mystery ~* a luminous mystery which is ages old and steeped in ancient Arcane Knowledge ~* the origin of Fine Fashions and Fine Art emanates from the same source ~* V8* is a clue, the Flax plant is a clue, Atlantis is a clue, Love is a clue, the esoteric mnemonics of Giordano Bruno are a clue, the astral observations of Tycho Brahe are a clue.
    And if you can understand that then you are truly worthy of the Secret of Yvette’s. If anyone can unveil the secret, send us over an email. We should probably let Mr Best know that it’s been cracked.

  3. World Famous Master Artist
    If you hadn’t heard already (and shame on you if you haven’t) Mr Best is a World Famous Artist, and for $1, $5 or $20 he will produce a “FineArt Sketch of beautiful Gulf Marine Sea~Life” for just for YOU! 

    Here’s a challenge for you Mad Art Lab readers: if I get 100 comments on this post, I shall send Mr Best a dollar and get one of these drawings to post here. Tell your friends!

  4. An Interview with Mr Best
    Here’s where I started to get a little worried about our dear Mr Best. The fine line between fantasy and reality not only became blurred, it was entirely non existent. I’m assuming (perhaps incorrectly, of course) that Mr Best has concocted this interview entirely from his own imagination, in which he sits sipping café au lait at a picturesque sidewalk café, and is adoringly praised by (according to my Google results) seemingly fictional Deirdre Calico, an arts and theatre reporter for New Culture International Magazine. At one moment, Mr Best reads Deirdre an excerpt from his diary, to which Deirdre wonderingly muses that “one wouldn’t necessarily imagine that a great artist like yourself could be thinking such regular people type thoughts”. That’s right, everyone. Stop putting Sean Terrance Best up on a pedestal. He’s just an ordinary guy! The real high point of the interview comes when Mr Best reveals that he thoroughly enjoys the company of virgins. “An untouched woman is the avatar of nature,” he says. “How very touching,” Deirdre remarks. “That could move one to tears.” Well, you’re right about one thing, Deirdre: I certainly feel like crying.
  5. Close Encounters of the Pranking Kind
    It seems that Sean Terrance Best recently had an encounter that he found “very unusual and exciting”. From Mr Best’s recounting of the event, it seems that two gentleman came into his store, after taking photos of themselves outside, complimented him on his website, and told him that they were journalists from UFO Magazine. They asked Mr Best if they could interview him for the magazine, which he declined, so they wished him luck and went swiftly on their way. I don’t think I’m the only one who might suspect that these two guys might very well have been a pair of pranksters who had seen his website and thought they’d have a little fun with him. But this possibility doesn’t seem to have dawned on Mr Best. He described one of his visitors as “just an ordinary, regular guy………like maybe someone who would ask you if he could borrow your lawnmower and actually bring it back to you after he mowed his lawn”. But, nevertheless, concludes that they were “Space Aliens disguised as investigative reporters from UFO Magazine”, and goes on to give them an online message of the importance of V8. I would assume that being space aliens, they would already be up on these facts, but I guess you can’t be too careful, eh?

You may be thinking to yourself  “Now wait a minute. Does Yvette’s Bridal Formal actually sell any wedding regalia?’ The simple answer is yes; yes it does, but it seems to occupy only 0.5% of Sean Terrance Best’s attention. And now I’ve taken you by the hand through the crazies, let’s look at some of the highlights.

Highlight #1
One thing I will say, and as an editor I couldn’t help but notice, that despite the exhausting amount of content, and despite (presumably) that all of it was undertaken in one frantic keyboard-stabbing session – without a dictionary I hazard to guess –  there are very few misspellings.

Highlight #2
I found myself pleasantly surprised by some pieces of Mr Best’s artwork. Many of these pieces are even for sale. Unfortunately he prices the majority at $1 million, so I won’t be purchasing one. Too rich for my blood. Here is a small selection of what’s on offer, in case any of you have money burning a hole in your pocket.

Highlight #3
There are many a happy bride on this site, and only a few not-so-happy brides. Let’s take a look at the happy brides.

Highlight #4
Lastly, Sean Terrance Best may well be the happiest guy in the world. If not demonstrated by his overwhelming denial of reality, then certainly by this photo.

As for out hypothesis, in this case I can only conclude that the claim “the worse the design, the worse the crazy” is accurate to such an extent that I would be willing to stake my life on it. Now I’m going to retreat to a hot bath and and a nice cup of tea. This adventure as left me aching to my very bones.






Laurent is a children's editor and illustrator who lives in London with her two cats and a rabbit. If she wasn't an editor she'd be a paleontologist, and if she wasn't a human she'd be a dinosaur. Her favourite dinosaur is Triceratops. Follow her on Twitter: @mrs_laurent

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  1. I… wow. I can’t think of what else to say. My head is full of pan flute music and pink/blue static…

  2. This is 100% the case. As someone who has researched tons of wacko religious folks and more recently conspiracy theorist-types, not ONE of them has a normal looking functional website. Even Family Radio, who spent millions on billboards, didn’t spend dollar 1 on a web designer. The only nutsos that have a nice looking website is The Discovery Institute.

  3. I have to contend that one of the “college” graphic designers I work with is frighteningly good at masking the crazy under trendy splatter effects and sleek text. I have college in quotations because she attends Jesus college somewhere in Dallas and, to my knowledge, is not actually taking classes for math, science, or even literature or any of the humanities. Her youth group logos could go on a Billabong t-shirt.

    They’re…dare I say it?…evolving.

  4. “Mr Best reads Deirdre an expert from his diary” should read “Mr Best reads Deirdre an exerpt from his diary”.

    Does this add to the 100 comment count? Boy, I hope so…

  5. My spelling is clearly nothing on Mr Best’s. Damn … now I’ve just added to the 100 comment count.

  6. I saw this site when Richard Wiseman posted about it. My wife and I spent a while scrolling around but I had no idea that the site was such a Rabbit Hole! It puts Timecube to shame.

  7. Thank you for risking your eyes so that others don’t have to. This whole post is hilarious.

    (And @w_nightshade & Lauren…it’s actually excerpt. 😀 )

  8. This is a well known rule of thumb in the design world. If your website looks like that, you’re either CRAZZZZYYYY or on Geocities. Possibly both. Now excuse me while I try to embed some animated gifs of torches from Duke Nukem 3d and the Imperial March in MIDI form at the bottom of this comment

  9. ever so slightly over 10% of the way to 100 comments! I want my sealife drawing!

  10. IHNC, IJLS “V as in the Roman Numeral for 5 and 8 a representation of the feminine form means many, many wonderful realities !!”

  11. Nothing is so typographically magical as the simultaneous underlined, bolded and italicized capital letters expressing “Cubic Nature is Omnific, Infinite, Ineffable and on Harmonic duty today”

  12. Yvette’s is my rock… nay, the keystone to the arch of design that I can only dream of being deemed wondrous enough to pass through.

    On that note, if the Rainbow Primates site doesn’t make you either (a)purchase a monkey or (b)throw up a little, I have no time for you.

  13. @BonnieBeth: RAINBOW PRIMATES IS AMAZING! I’ve never seen it before. The text-following-the-cursor “feature” is something I have never had the pleasure of experiencing. Complete with “monkeysw”

    @Rebecca: Say something non-controversial in an off-hand way and I’m sure we could get 1000+ comments 😀

  14. Just starting an argument between two people would probably do the job.

  15. Or start a discussion. My crazy wife bought me a rainbow thong. Should I wear it? It’s pretty awesome. But, as a man, I’m worried about whale tailing. Also, floss pain?

  16. Thank you for doing this research. It was my googling of Deidre Calico which lead me to your post, and so saving me from an experience similar to yours. If you do achieve 100 comments may I suggest that you use a P.O. Box number for the return address.

    Many thanks


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