What’s ‘bad design? 10 examples & how toAvoid them

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We’ve all seen websites or digital experiences that we immediately thought of as “bad designs.” But what actually makes a design “bad”? How can designers recognize these mistakes and prevent them from happening again?

The first step to learning is understanding what makes a design poor. how to create good designs. These are 10 common mistakes in design. how toCorrect their mistakes

1. Too cluttered

In the early days, clutter was a common feature of web design. The designers tried to squeeze as many elements onto every page as possible, sometimes ignoring the white space completely. It resulted in pages that were confusing to navigate and lacking structure. This made it almost impossible for users to locate what they were searching.

However, the chaotic UIs that dominated early 00s design in the 90s and 2000s are mostly gone. While not every website needs to be minimalist, with wide-open spaces between each element, be sure that you’re giving your design some breathing room. To make the most important elements stand out, remove unnecessary components.

2. Your UI is inconsistent

Unstable UI design can be one of the worst types of bad design. When color palettes change from page to page, navigation jumps around on each page to wherever the designer felt like putting it, fonts seem to be chosen at random, and there’s no unified visual style, users suffer. Users must adapt to every page or section of the site. This requires extra effort and mental energy to reach their goals. This can be caused by even minor inconsistencies.

A style guide is a great way to avoid inconsistencies.

A style guide is a great way to avoid inconsistencies. You can define how things look. This includes where navigation is placed, which color scheme should be used, what typography options are available, as well as the layout of icons and dividers.

This ensures that the UI is consistent regardless of any changes in content or involvement by multiple designers.

3. Typographical hierarchy is poor

Are people coming to your site to see a wall full of text? The web text is different from the printed word. A page without any type of hierarchy can overwhelm visitors, and it is easy to bore them.

For web accessibility, a well-structured typographic hierarchy is crucial. It makes it easier to find things such as headlines and subheads. To distinguish heading levels and body copy from other elements, a typographic hierarchy should generally consist of just one or two fonts.

You can make digital design more readable by using shorter paragraphs and sufficient line heights. Also, bulleted lists make it easier to digest important information.

4. Iconography confusion

The entire point of icons is to give visitors a visual cue about the content they’re seeing. Many icons are used to navigate. To make it easier for visitors to interact with your website, icons are often used to indicate navigation.

There’s a reason universal icons exist. Namely, that they’re instantly recognizable to users. When you start to experiment with icons or icon sets that have more abstract or metaphorical meanings, all you’re doing is potentially confusing users. If you do stray from universally recognized icons, or need to use icons for something that doesn’t have a universal symbol attached, use labels to prevent confusion.

5. Design that is not good enough

If you’re creating a website to do anything other than provide information, forms are likely part of your UI design— whether they’re forms for users to subscribe, make a purchase, or some other function. Poor form design is a common problem on the internet. And if your forms aren’t user-friendly, you’ll see a much lower submission rate.

These are the most important things you should remember when creating forms.

  • To achieve your goal, keep forms as brief as possible. For example, subscription forms should ideally only include a field for the email address, and possibly the subscriber’s name.
  • Submit buttons should be prominently visible and clearly labeled. For example, use “subscribe” instead of “submit.”
  • Your error messages should be helpful. It is best to have them triggered immediately after the form has been submitted.
  • Split long forms into pages. For example, a checkout page might have pages that provide shipping and billing information. After reviewing, you can submit the order. Don’t forget to indicate progress to users as they work through these pages.
  • 6. Poor alignment

    Bad alignment of elements can make a page feel unpolished even if users don’t immediately recognize why. However, it is relatively easy to correct your alignment. A grid is an easy and reliable way to keep your alignment. Don’t forget to use a baseline grid, too.

    7. Images that are irrelevant

    Photos and images should always be part of a design that supports the content. These images should support the concepts and ideas on the page. Make sure that every image you include is directly tied to the page’s content. While cute photos of kittens are wonderful, make sure that your content is only about cats.

    📌For more tips, see 7 Best Practices for Using Photography in UI Design.

    “You should select images that have a strong relationship with your product goals and ensure that they are context-relevant.” — Anastasia Marinicheva, UI/UX Designer

    8. There is not enough contrast

    Contrast is not only visually distracting, it can also make your designs look unappealing. Bad contrast can cause accessibility issues for your designs. Be sure that the contrast between important elements — including text — on your pages meets accessibility standards. This will ensure that users don’t miss the important parts, as well as make any text content more readable.

    9. Inadequacy in user research

    Poor design can result from not understanding your users’ needs. After all, good design isn’t just about the way a site looks; it’s primarily about how well your design works for your users.

    Start the process by asking your users what they want from the site. You can then test several design concepts and variations to find one that addresses user needs. A design that’s visually mediocre but meets user needs and wants will always be a “better” design than one that looks beautiful but is hard for people to use.

    10. Accessibility issues

    It is often viewed as a problem. However, accessible design is more user-friendly for everyone. Accessibility is key to creating digital products that are more accessible for all users.

    To improve the user experience, you should apply WCAG accessibility standards across all your designs. Don’t think of them as an inconvenience or a restriction, but instead as a way to make your designs better for all. ■

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