Pass or fail: The top 30 technology company homepages

Although there are lots of posts that evaluate different design blogs, I haven’t seen many that focus specifically on corporate websites.

Therefore, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the homepages of the Top 30 technology companies (the order of this list was determined by the InfoTech 100 from Business Week), and assign them a PASS or FAIL rating based on the quality of their homepage design.

Click on the screenshots to check out each website.



Although it may be a little cluttered for my taste, it would be short-sighted to say that the homepage is a FAIL. Amazon has created a company that has landed at the top of the InfoTech 100, and the fact that one hundred percent of their sales are made online shows that they understand how to use their website to attract and retain customers.


2. Apple: PASS

As an Apple user, I may be a little biased, but I honestly don’t think that anyone could look at the Apple homepage and say that it fails in terms of design. The homepage is uncluttered, provides easy to use navigation and gracefully showcases several of Apple’s products.


3. Research in Motion (RIM): PASS

Let’s be honest; the RIM homepage is not going to win any awards for being innovative. However, while this may be true, the homepage does get the job done. Not only does it provide links to all of the relevant topics of interest, but it also showcases their latest product. If I was a school teacher, the RIM homepage would probably get a B- (while the Apple homepage would be at the top of the class with an A+).


4. Nintendo: FAIL

Okay, I already know that this is going to be a controversial one, but I have to give the Nintendo homepage a FAIL. While I do like the color scheme of this homepage, there are simply too many elements in the layout. Since it already looks like they are trying to replicate the Apple homepage, Nintendo needs to take another look and realize that they could benefit by cutting out about 75% of the homepage elements below the navigation bar.


5. Western Digital: PASS

This homepage falls into the same category as the RIM homepage. It’s definitely not pushing any envelopes, but at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with it. This is a corporate homepage we are talking about, and not only does the menu make navigating the website easy, but I like the fact that they use the main area of their homepage to promote a single product (instead of making Nintendo’s mistake and trying to cram as many products onto a single page as possible).


6. America Movil: FAIL

Although this isn’t technically their homepage (it’s the first page of their website, but you have to click “Enter Fullscreen” to visit their actual homepage), I do not appreciate a website that forces me to go into a fullscreen mode. Unless I’m watching a movie, I do not want a window to be in fullscreen. Not only it interrupts my flow of browsing, but it’s going to cause problems for people who don’t have a 1024×768 resolution.


7. China Mobile: PASS

First of all, kudos to China Mobile for having their website in multiple languages. While I think they could cut the size of their Press Releases area in half (and do a better job at emphasizing the “Hot Products” on the right side of the page), the China Mobile homepage successfully accomplishes the basic goals of a corporate homepage.


8. Nokia: PASS

I really like the fact that Nokia puts all of the necessary navigation elements (links and search box) at the top of the page, and then uses the main real estate of their hompeage to showcase their latest products (the large box actually scrolls through several different products). Additionally, they finish things off with a few other boxes that lead to destinations of potential interest (such as capitalizing on the new “Twilight” trend).


9. ASUSTeK Computer: FAIL

Although you can’t see it in the screenshot, there are simply too many moving elements on this homepage (including the left and middle columns). Unlike the main area of the Nokia homepage (which scrolls through several different elements), the main area of this homepage is animated, but it simply loops the same offer over and over. Additionally, there’s too much clutter on the homepage for a user to figure out what they actually want to do.


10. High Tech Computer (HTC): PASS

If I was going to pick my two favorite homepages out of the first ten companies on this list, Apple would be #1 and HTC would be #2. The homepage is relatively uncluttered, and (in addition to the navigation) simply displays four main elements (three of which are to popular products/offers).


11. Google: PASS

If you need proof that minimalist designs are more effective than cluttered ones, just compare the stock prices of Google and Yahoo. Google is a search company, and from the second that you visit their homepage, you know exactly what you are supposed to do with their website.


12. MTN Group: PASS

It’s definitely not my favorite homepage on this list, but it gets the job done. In addition to providing visitors with easy to find navigational links, MTN Group promotes all of the latest news that’s related to their company.



I actually have to admit that I was little surprised with the IBM homepage. Given the reputation of the company, I was expecting an extremely bland homepage, but theirs actually has a little flair. I also like the fact that each of the main navigation links is actually a drop-down menu, which makes it easier for users to find exactly what they want.


14. Mobile Telesystems: FAIL

I want to like this homepage. However, there is simply too much red in the design, which results in an overwhelming experience when the page loads. On top of that, Mobile Telesystems really needs to increase the size of their fonts for their navigational links.


15. Telefonica: FAIL

I don’t think I need to go into much detail about why this design is a fail. I guess that it’s a decent attempt at a design, but it simply doesn’t come together well. Telefonica’s needs to scrap this design and start over from scratch (it wouldn’t hurt them to get a little inspiration from some of the top homepages on this list).


16. VimpelCom: PASS

Like several of the other websites on this list, VimpelCom could benefit from increasing the size of their font. Also, I’m not sure why the paragraph under the “Brief Business Description” is one long hyperlink. However, those are both minor details, and I otherwise like the design of this homepage. I think their use of ample white space helps to bring attention to their main content.


17. Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Ind.): FAIL

Although I will give them credit for making it easy to switch their site between English and Traditional Chinese, this homepage just doesn’t do it for me. I think what really turns me off is the badly done header. If they could come up with a more attractive header and improve the link structure below the header, Foxconn might be able to move into the PASS category.


18. AT&T: PASS

Even though they have a lot on their homepage, AT&T is a company that offers a lot of different products and services, so I don’t think their homepage is overwhelming or too cluttered. Additionally, I also like that their main content area highlights several of their best offers.


19. Accenture: PASS

Not the most exciting homepage (although I do like the picture of Tiger), but like several of the other homepages on the list, it gets the job done. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but my one suggestion would be to increase the font size of the links on the right side of the page (I think a lot of designers underestimate the importance of having text that is large enough for people of all ages and monitor sizes to read).


20. LG Electronics: FAIL

I like this homepage. However, I have to give it a fail because even though I have a fast Internet connection, it takes this page forever to load. Not only do you have to wait to load the “Select Your Region” page, but then there’s another delay before the actual homepage loads!


21. Bharti: PASS

I think that the picture on this page is a pretty cool. I also like their one sentence mission statement about 2020. I would recommend formatting the description of their company differently, but other than that, this a pretty good corporate homepage.


22. Oracle: PASS

I like the use of white space, and unlike the Mobile Telesystems homepage, Oracle successfully uses red in their color scheme without going overboard. My only suggestion would be to move the bottom navigation (Customer Spotlight, News and Special Event) above the list of links, and to potentially prune down the total number of links in those four columns.


23. Microsoft: FAIL

As an Apple guy, I was hoping I would get to fail Microsoft. Although I remained objective, I’m glad that I get to give them a FAIL. The reason is because of the “Microsoft Silverlight” pop-up that automatically appears when their homepage loads. Just like America Movil forcing a full screen, I don’t want anything to pop-up while I’m browsing (especially when it forces me to click the Install link or the No Thanks link).


24. Maroc Telecom: FAIL

Since I’m not one of their target customers, I don’t mind the fact that I can’t read what’s on the homepage. However, I do have to FAIL this page because they are trying to cram too much into a small space. If they would actually take advantage of the full page and spread apart their layout, they might actually be able to earn a PASS.


25. Turkcell: PASS

As you have probably noticed, I really think that this general type of layout is one of the most effective for corporate homepages. It gives companies the ability to highlight the main elements of their company, and generally draws visitors deeper into the website.


26. LG Display: FAIL

This homepage suffers from the same problem as the Maroc Telecom homepage. Instead of spreading things out, they have crammed all of the elements of their layout into a small space. They don’t necessarily need to remove any of the elements from their homepage, but they do need to spread out the elements that are there.



I really like the bold header that is a part of this layout. It really grabs your attention, and the five links that are integrated into the header make navigation easy. I would suggest potentially changing the navigation links from grey to black, but other than that, this is a great looking homepage.



Like the Maroc Telecom homepage, this isn’t getting a FAIL for being in a different language. The reason that it’s receiving a fail is because it is way too cluttered. There are simply too many elements jammed into this layout. Additionally, I’m really not a big fan of how much they used bright green in this layout.


29. Millicom International Cellular: PASS

Especially when you consider the fact that this is a corporate homepage, the design is quite nice and bright. The navigation is easy to use, and the main area of the layout is divided well between information about the company, links to documents for investors and a couple elements with additional information.


30. HP: PASS

Not every website can get away with a black background, but the HP website pulls it off successfully. Their use of big images in the middle of the page seems like a really effective way to grab visitor’s attention and get them onto specific product pages.

I obviously know that not everyone is going to agree with my opinion on every website, so feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment area below…

Cover image by Shutterstock

Written excusively for WDD by Tyler Banfield of COPYmoz

  • Diogo Duarte

    Nice stuff!

    Webdesignerdepot: PASS

  • http://- Dan

    Failing the microsoft website is ridiculous and just shows bias. It’s a very clean site with excellent functionality. It’s nowhere near as offensive as the site that requests fullscreen.

    Have to disagree :).

    • http://Microsoft Lina

      I Agree with Dan, I have to say that asking to download the Silverlight Plugin only happens the first time, as well as Flash.

  • http://- Dan

    On another note, nice to see an article like this.

  • Gyorgy

    While your arguments are good, unfortunately whether a website will pass or fail is your point of view, although you tried to remain objective, which is nice.

  • TSL

    This was a very cool and interesting experiment. I don’t agree with all of your decisions (in particular, Oracle’s site is very “1999”), but overall you have proved a very nice demonstration of what does and does not work in home page design and user interface.

  • Stef

    Nice post.
    One thing I have to say however is that I don’t agree the Microsoft website should’ve received a FAIL.
    If you took a second of your time to click ‘No Thanks’ and viewed the WEBSITE which is what you’re judging, you’ll notice that they actually have a great site.

  • Adrian

    Imo the microsoft website is better than macs.

    There is really nothing to the mac site. Simple in a bad way…..

  • Jody D.

    I think this is a great list of examples for technology sites. Being that I think we have the same taste, desire for white-space and Easy to use interfaces. I think when I look at the list I could also use it as a reference for any e-commerce home-page. Thank-you.
    Go White-space!

  • insic

    hmmm for me microsoft website passed of course. You site the silverlight popup in particular. its not that bad, it serves the purpose (maybe we take time to read whats in the popup) lol. Im not that into high standard but i bet to disagree of failing Microsoft website. Its not for the reason that im using an apple product or a Microsoft’s product. Nice post in general.

  • Phil

    Wholly agree on the Microsoft fail. No entry page should hide content with a download request or a survey. Microsoft did both.

  • Start Your Own Website

    Definitely should be a few more FAILS in there… especially Nokia’s site. Its not good at all!

  • Robert

    Do not agree on the microsoft fail either. And the fact that you say you were hoping to fail them and then say you were trying to remain biased makes no sense.

  • Bootsy

    I love this pass or fail prolly u can do my site…i like the look of ure site i would give it pass. The only thing i dont like that just me i dont like large headers image i hate scrolling

  • Moser

    Okay. I am myself an Apple user. I hate Microsoft with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, and even I think their site is a billion times better than some of those others up there.

    There should have been several more fails on that list. Plus maybe a look at some of the more common sites. Maybe something like Best Buy, or Walmart…

  • anzaan

    Good compilation.
    I hate to tell you this, but your site fails !
    The reason, your banner is too distracting. Nice design is not the same as fancy design.
    Its like a guitarist trying to cram in all the tricks he knows in one solo in one song… if you know what I mean :-)

    For me designs should compliment a site and its content. And you have crammed too many clips and graphics in your banner… like a guitarist cramming in a 10 minutes solo of all the tricks he knows….

    I’m no designer though I do designs when needed. I’d love to be able to do what you have done, but let me assure you, even if I could do complicated colourful banner like yours, I swear I’d never put it in a production site :-)

    Criticism is the most constructive tool available to human beings, and I’m a firm believer of that… and hope you have a similar take on it…

  • anzaan

    Ah, forgot to tell you, you are dead right about microsoft site. Just because they want to make silverlight the next big thing in the web (which I don’t believe it will be anyway), its brainless to annoy users with lousy popups in home page.
    There are lots of effective ways of marketing, and what they are doing will come at the bottom of the list.
    Though I’m not an Apple guy (or an Orange guy either :-) ) , but microsoft can learn a lot from them in the marketing department.

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  • matt

    While you remained objective, you did look for the tiniest reason to fail microsoft…. I’m an apple guy too, but microsoft’s is a pretty clean site

  • Chris

    This is really just a list of sites that you like or dislike. If I had known that when I started looking at this list I would have stopped. Before I even made it to the Microsoft site I knew you were going to fail it (what a surprise). According to your standards any site with flash, shockwave, or (gasp) Silverlight isn’t a good site if you haven’t already pre-loaded those plug-ins.

  • dehlz

    IBM surprised me as well, although when visiting their homepage everything seems to be jammed up top a bit. Nintendo I find failing “iffy” especially comparing it to some of the passing sites listed here. The layout could be improved, but athestically pleasing. Overall, a good list!

  • Walter

    The author uses a basic usability rule to justify the decision of a Microsoft fail. I personally agree with his decision just for the fact that you shouldn’t put any stops before someone visits a web page.

    I think that some people commenting here that don’t agree with the author’s view, they simply don’t because they see it as a biased opinion since the author clearly says he’s an Apple supporter.

    In my view, the idea of forcing to download a plugin (or say ‘no thanks’) to gain access to view a page is really bad usability whether it’s Microsoft or someone else.

    That being said, I do appreciate everyone’s opinion very much and all comments are approved regardless of whether I agree with them or not, so keep sharing your opinion with everyone.

    Thanks for everyone’s insights! :)

  • anzaan

    Aaarrgh…. Just a correction to the comment I made. I simply assumed that the author of this article was the owner of the site… Aaarrgh…
    And that’s why I said his site failed, his site is actually very neat. Sorry for the blunder.

    The correct statement is ” fails the test !”

    Haha…. take that….

  • Tyler

    First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment on this post. I’m glad to see that it has generated so much discussion.

    Since many of the comments have been about the Microsoft site, that’s the main issue I want to touch on in this comment. Even though I use all Apple products (which I made clear), I will admit that the Microsoft homepage has a clean design. However, I’m sticking by my FAIL because of the forced pop-up, which Walter (in comment #20) noted is a basic usability rule. If Microsoft chose to feature this information as an element of their homepage instead of a forced pop-up, I would be comfortable changing their rating to a PASS.

  • Joel

    I just tried to install Silverlight to view the Microsoft website and the Silverlight content after the installation was broken. I don’t even know how I can view their site. I think you made an excellent point Tyler. Maybe it’s just not ready for Mac users yet…

  • dt

    this review fails. :( shallow reason to fail a site is shallow!

  • tnt-tek

    Microsoft should get a pass not only for their site but for violating the usability rule. Here’s why.

    1. Microsoft can’t compete the way other companies normally would. Whenever they bundle functionality they encounter intense anti-trust pressure (which, if the mac, linux,firefox crowd are correct, is undue these days) They are not able to distribute Silverlight with a regular windows update, or include the functionality in the browser. The only way they can market it to you is to pop-up on the homepage.
    2. How many of these sites would be broken if flash wasn’t installed? I’d be willing to bet quite a few. But because of the limitations I already mentioned, Microsoft can’t distribute Silverlight in the same way.
    3. Who is logging onto and leaves because of a popup? I’d say no-one. Unlike the other companies that need to close a sale on a homepage visit, MS wins simply by getting the user to install silverlight and extending their reach.

    If it was your page popping up, you’d fail. But this is Microsoft and I think we all can agree that they have a different set of rules.

  • polel

    Microsoft: FAIL! | I don’t agree.
    Bharti: PASS, MTN Group: PASS, VimpelCom: PASS, Bharti: PASS, Millicom International Cellular: PASS
    Microsoft is better than these website.

    sorry for my bad English and thanks for your opinion!

  • Mickey

    People that visit the microsoft website visit because they want software? Why would it bother you to update your browser software to the newest toys? You gave a lousy reason to fail Microsoft’s website.

    Also: Fails for the majority of internet surfers because the majority use IE and a very annoying popup comes up telling me the IE is not fully supported by To me that just shows that mac doesn’t care about the end user. If they did they would make their site compatible for all visitors.

    I don’t like the way mac markets at all and I don’t think Microsoft would learn anything productive from them. Most of their funny commercials are pure lies. Take for instance the whole genius easy file transfer. Microsoft has had this tool since windows 95. Just put in your os install disk and it asks you. Microsoft is so far ahead of Mac that there is just no way to market everything they offer for you. I’ve noticed most of the mac features are just oldies that microsoft has had for quite some time now.

  • derby

    Thanks for this list. I agree with your design criteria. Its entertaining to hear people defend Microsoft here. For me, OSX is far superior to any Microsoft OS. I was an avid Microsoft user for about 10 years. I purchased a Mac 5 months ago. I spend a lot of time in Terminal. Since Mac is based on BSD, Terminal is very powerful and concise. DOS on windows has about 1/100th the power of Terminal.

    But that has nothing to do with your post.

    Thanks again for writing.

  • p@r@noid

    It’s quite important to have a great Home page for any top website.

  • myows

    I found your review extremely useful – since I am currently having my homepage designed… Thank you !

  • Michael FAIL. I’ve never liked the layout and clutter of the site, though I know that they offer a huge selection of stuff. I would like it if it were a bit more simple – still offering products that you’ve previously purchased, but not confusing the visitor.
    I really do like HTC – it’s professional and almost…innovative.

  • Nick

    Lol @ ASUSTeK. I always hate going there when I’m trying to get a BIOS update. I feel like I’m going to break there website somehow.

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  • Isaac

    Hey, you were really biased about Microsoft. I think it has a no thanks button, why not click that and move on? “IT DOES NOT FORCE” you to install Silverlight.

    Aside that, I think you should put out a survey kinda thing so you see from other’s eyes.

    Gr8t work.

  • Andre Augusto

    Can I suggest one more website that I would love to hear what you guys think about? Thanks, Nice Post, certainly PASS

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  • Cosmin

    @tnt-tek :

    Windows Vista Update offers to install Silverlight; so they CAN distribute Silverlight in other ways, don’t worry :)

    I generally agree with the list, some are indeed a personal point-of-view, but quite balanced.

    Glad (somehow) to see HP passed (yeah, I work in HP :D )…although this is for (US) >> don’t try this fail/pass with HP’s localized sites :D

  • visitor

    Most of these designs are serviceable at best; impossible to use at the worst. Is impossible to use without Silverlight?

    I find the simple websites are best. It’s easier since most of these companies are well-known so they don’t have to give lots of exposition (enhances “getability” of a website).

    I am not a professional designer by trade. I design my work website. At least I can say it’s better than the Foxconn website!

  • james

    I’m a bit suprised at passing Apple and failing MS based on the need to install Silverlight. Every time I visit Apple it hassels me to install Quicktime.

  • rusher

    you forgot about – PASS :)

  • Mitchell B

    While I agree with failing microsoft for the forced User interaction I also think that deserves a fail. While it’s homepage is pretty and everything looks in order when you start looking for something on that site it’s a nightmare. It’s like godaddy with a nose job. Just my two cents.

    • Greg

      I agree, finding stuff on the apple website can be a nightmare!

  • Anton Stoyanov

    Very useful. Will show to designers to get a feeling…

  • Chu

    Raiting Oracle as a “PASS” is mind boggling. Oracle’s site is legendary for making it absolutely impossible to find what you want unless you know exactly where to look for it. As an example — try finding the actual OCCI documentation. You need to get to the OCCI page, click the right link in their OCCI doccument, then navigate forward one page to get to the API docs.

    The fact that the oracle homepage for many oracle technologies are not at the top of their google searches (try searching “occi”), is also a sign of a huge fail.

  • Justin

    I agree with the fact that Nintendo’s main page is a failure. They could really do a lot to change it for the better! Great post!

  • Cheap SEO

    Thanks for the reviews i will consider these before purchasing

  • Selvam

    I wish this report will be seen by those companies… ;)

  • shoaib

    Now i think i need to change the background color of my blog-its set black right now.

  • Greg

    At the end of the day, it’s just your opinion…

  • aks

    awesome collection about pass and fail. thanks for giving this kind of information.

  • e

    This is stupid. Microsoft have an extremely well designed home page. All the passes and fails in this list are completely superficial and biased.
    Lot of information on the site of a brand you like = necessary
    Lot of information on the site of a brand you don’t like = clutter

    What’s more, any site that is adhering to a current design trend you pass and suggest that it’s the best layout for any corporate website, which defeats the point of web design really.

  • Shubham

    Well that’s cool ..!!.. I am inspired..! I am going to change my layout ..!

  • ajay

    thanks for this type of article.after a long surfing i got this one.thanks again.

  • non

    Less than 3% market share makes Apple the biggest FAIL of all.

  • Club Penguin

    I think apple should be number one if these are in order.

  • Santosh Gupta

    I would rather recommend WDD to post an article on corporates who produce or service consumer durables or Fast Moving Consumer Goods or Petro Chemicals or Internet Service Providers or Mobile phones or stuff like that.

  • Santosh Gupta

    I wonder how Foxconn, Cosmote, Maroc has a place in this article :) You should have included Vodafone, Bell, Rogers, Telus, Koodo and corporates like that. I really don’t know half of the corporate names you have listed in this article. Never heard. It would have been great if you would have stuck to only Telecom related websites.

  • Billy

    It’s all a matter of tastes, but I am shocked at how bad some of these top sites are considering the staff they have, surely one of them has the capacity to sort out their website

  • Kevinjohn Gallagher

    Wait a second, so Apple get a Pass but Nintendo with the most similar homepage in the world to Apple’s gets a Fail?

    “As an Apple guy, I was hoping I would get to fail Microsoft”

    And thats where I stopped reading.

  • Troy

    OK nobody shoot me, but what about the nokia page is using the “Twilight” trend, and what is that trend exactly?

    8. Nokia: PASS

    I really like the fact that Nokia puts all of the necessary navigation elements (links and search box) at the top of the page, and then uses the main real estate of their hompeage to showcase their latest products (the large box actually scrolls through several different products). Additionally, they finish things off with a few other boxes that lead to destinations of potential interest (such as capitalizing on the new “Twilight” trend)

  • Dave

    Sorry, but Amazon is a FAIL.

  • How to tweak

    well how can a brand be so careless as to not give any importance to the www world?

  • Clinton Green

    Dude, Bharti was a definite fail

  • FireJermWebs

    Funny look at Nintendo’s homepage now. the reduced alot of clutter by using slideshows for their many products. I can see the entire page and half the footer now! Its always cool to know u may have an impact on popular sites during your reviews.

    Your turn. what kind of header is that? well we really know its a blog due to the ginormical mess of graphic at the top. I think i got a headache due to being slapped in the eyesockets by it and the huge depot. Although it looks nice, just tone the size down abit. look at it again running on a little net book with 1020×786. Im at 1600×1200.

    Other than that, Pass!

  • Ken

    As with Silverlight, then all sites with any flash component fail as well… you need to have the player to see them. I’m really surprised that you were not able to see that obvious relation.

    Not all sites prompt you with a pop-up asking you to install it, however then you should pass/fail the sites based on how they look NOT having flash installed as well (as you did with Microsoft not having Silverlight installed).