Dude, Your Chi is all Feng-Shui-ed

funny-chinese-manFeng Shui is an ancient Chinese art of arrangement. By focusing on energy centers of a particular room or building, a Feng Shui Master can balance the energy levels throughout, creating a prosperous and healthy space.

Space. Balance. Energy. Arrangement. Hmmm. Sounds a lot like Design. As a designer I can’t help but ask the following, “So why does the design of nearly every Feng Shui web site so profoundly suck?”

I analyzed a couple sites in my own Feng Shui-ish way. They sure look Fenged Up. Read on, I think you’ll see what I mean.

World of Feng Shui

Lillian Too's web site wants to devour your soul!

Lillian Too’s web site wants to devour your soul!

If Feng Shui is intended to bring health and prosperity to people, then this site was designed to kill those people.

It is a site possessed by demons apparently summoned by someone named Lillian Too. The site is infused with energy. A busy, evil energy that prevents introspection of any sort. This is not a calm and contemplative space. In the space of 5 or 10 seconds, at least two pop-up ads jumped out at me. It reminds me of a discount store newspaper ad. The only thing missing are starbursts with prices. Oh yeah, and a masthead.

But really, who needs mastheads? They only take away space that could be filled with SCREAMING ADS THAT JUMP AND MOVE! Please, Lillian Too, until you potty-train those little ads, keep them away from me.

At the top where the masthead might have been, there is an ad space. In my case the ad was “How to Recognize a Stroke” which I found particularly prescient, considering what Ms. Too’s site was doing to my blood pressure. I would suggest another possible ad headline: “Leave Now Before You Have an Epileptic Seizure!”

If you survive the first 30 seconds, the rest of the page is, surprisingly, somewhat organized, though not in a way that focuses the Chi positively. It is like a TV room without a television; everything is there, but there is no center point. I say this hesitantly out of fear that Ms. Too will read this and decide to add a pop-up video.

The American Feng Shui Institute

The site that killed Socrates. Again.

The site that killed Socrates. Again.

This site, divided into three boxes on a light gray field has no obvious center of energy. The upper box across the top (North?) attempts to harness the wind and water but fails due to a cluttered space with no focus and DEAR GOD IS THAT A DROPSHADOW? Lame. That’s so Ming Dynasty, Dude.

The largest box below and left, is illustrative of the Entropic Principle to which all creation is destined. It is a truly disordered state, devoid of energy that leaves one truly enervated. There is no sense of purpose to this space other than perhaps an attempt to annoy. Consistency of form is utterly absent. I counted at least 8 different font styles in the first three “paragraphs” alone, which drained so much Chi that I had to eat a Snickers just to keep going. Snickers really satisfies, which so far is the complete opposite of this Feng Shui Site.

I skipped the right sidebar because, well, just because. Instead I scrolled to the bottom where I discovered a link to the Socrates Theme, which was the WordPress skin upon which this travesty had been hung.

I couldn’t help but wonder what Socrates would think of this mess. Perhaps he might have said (in Greek), “You know that Hemlock I’ve got coming? Make it a double.”