Bad Design

As a jumping off point for my workshop with Rob Carter, we were asked to bring in five examples of so-called “bad” design. My choices are:

1. Most movie posters. Think about the movie posters of the Stenberg Brothers. Very, very few if any modern movie posters come close to the brilliance of the Stenbergs:



2. Infographics. Overplayed and often actually bad in that they often make data pretty but more confusing. This particular infographic is a good example:



3. Microsoft UX. Word as an example, but the clutter and preponderance of options helps make Microsoft user interfaces much more complex than they need to be:



4. Decontextualized lists of “inspiration.” Meaningless and strictly eye candy. Arguable all of these endless lists of the top 25 one color logos or the 38 best typefaces for billboards are nothing but design pornography. Abudezzo is one of the worst offenders, showing meaningless lists instead of engaging people in how to be better designers:



5. (Graphic) design. And by this I mean the discipline of graphic design. It is hard to explain to a client. Everyone thinks they can do it. All you need is some software, right? Even among ourselves it is impossible to define it and how it differs from other disciplines. Admittedly, this slippery ambiguity is part of what I love about graphic design, but it brings in a lot of confusion.