2014-06-02

Co.Exist

The United Arab Emirates’ "Drones For Good" Website Is Terrible

Note to the UAE: Your raining-missile graphic design elements aren't ideal for this humanitarian drone competition.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are a touchy subject, and rightly so. A technology that originated as a way to kill unspecific targets from the air has now become a civilian plaything. Yet, drones can be used for good. Like in patrolling wildlife reserves for poachers, in emergency rescue situations, and in crisis mapping. "Good drones," in fact, have become something of a hot cottage industry.

It’s not surprising then, that, picking up on one of the latest technology trends, the United Arab Emirates’ Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum would launch a "Drones for Good" competition, offering $1 million for the best positive drone design. The UAE will be taking international entries for drone ideas in categories like disaster relief, humanitarian aid, economic development until August.

But the competition’s website is unfortunate. (Just scroll through it.)

Could this be more tone-deaf? Maybe it’s not the best idea to advertise "drones for good" against a backdrop of angular, missile-like graphics that come raining down the page when you scroll. To read more about how drone strikes have affected human lives, head here.

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3 Comments

  • Hi Sydney, thanks for your article! My name is Dr. Noah Raford and I'm one of the organizers of the competition. We totally agree with you and are actually midway through a website redesign to make the site more active and interesting. We've had hundreds of submissions from around the world already and are redesigning the site to highlight some of the awesome suggestions from the community we've been receiving. Your comment is spot on and timely, so thank you! We'll get right back to you once the new site is live.

    Best, Noah