Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror.

Bad Design vs. Good Design

“Bad design is smoke, while good design is a mirror.”— Juan Carlos Fernandez

What is bad design? A design that misleads the user just like smoke can mislead someone. It obscures the right direction as the smoke does.

The good design is reflective just like a mirror, and it displays the clear truth as a mirror displays the real image of everything.

Good design vs Bad design

The characteristics of the bad design include:

  • Cluttered interface
  • Poor navigation
  • Confusing layout
  • Complex tasks
  • Irrelevant user feedback
  • Inconsistent experience
  • Difficult content
  • Unpleasant color scheme

The users do not want to interact with a product designed poorly as it is not clear to them where to go to achieve their objectives. Hence, they leave bad design immediately. This is like a smoky area from where the people want to go away as soon as possible.

The good design on the other hand is:

  • Transparent and visible to its users
  • Simple
  • Relevant
  • Usable
  • Problem solver
  • Easy to understand
  • Effective to meet the goals  
  • Fresh with a pleasant color scheme

It makes users tasks easier for them and they enjoy interacting with the product. It gives them clarity on the provided features and how to follow the correct path to achieve their objectives.

A product with good design makes users feel satisfied by providing all the necessary information they need at that point to decide what to do next. It should be as transparent and clear as a mirror. It should not be a struggle for the user to find out where to go next to achieve their goal just like smoke that obscures everything.

“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.” -Dr. Ralf Speth

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