Five deadly sins of design

Five simple and verified ways to make eye-poking, face-melting designs, explained.

Believing that you should like the design

How to avoid that? Prefer value (the ways the end user actually can use an element) over personal preferences.

Assuming a design can be finished

How to avoid that? Release early, collect early feedback, test, and give the users what they need, and not what you think they might use.

Allowing elements to scream

How to avoid that? Emphasise value and content, and no calls to action. This will build trust and will reduce visual stress.

Allowing non-functional design

How to avoid that? Resist the temptation of adding banners, spacers and other elements just because the design in overall seems “empty”. Sometimes, an empty room with a jewel in a middle is all what you need.

Believing that copying others will just make it better

How to avoid that? Pick an foreign element that you like, understand why it is made like so and what does it do, keep the purpose but adapt the appearance. Context is important.

Also, don’t forget the excellent piece from Oatmeal about designer vs customer communication:

I write about things I wonder about

I write about things I wonder about