A badly designed site about bad design

11 Oct 2007 - 3:47pm
6 years ago
10 replies
566 reads
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

The actual design of this site isn't very good.. but the content is fantastic.

http://www.baddesigns.com/examples.html

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

Comments

14 Oct 2007 - 2:05am
keyur sorathia
2007

yes, i agree.
contents are great.

keyur

On 10/11/07, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> The actual design of this site isn't very good.. but the content is
> fantastic.
>
> http://www.baddesigns.com/examples.html
>
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
> ++
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
> Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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>

15 Oct 2007 - 8:36am
.pauric
2006

Hi Matt, I'm not that well versed on what makes a good 'web'site, I
design embedded interfaces on appliances. Granted the site is a
little Nielsenian, I would appreciate your insights on specific
flaws. I was able to navigate and find content with great ease.

What would you change or do differently?

cheers -pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21442

15 Oct 2007 - 8:45am
Jarod Tang
2007

For e.g., http://designinginterfaces.com/, it's almost for the same
content and same purpose, this site makes the navigation of the
content more friendly (because of the left side nav bar).

Yes for embeded small screen, it's not very common. because the user's
purpose and the input/output method is different ( so you'll use drill
down because of the screen limitation).

Cheers
-- Jarod

On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 06:36:39, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Matt, I'm not that well versed on what makes a good 'web'site, I
> design embedded interfaces on appliances. Granted the site is a
> little Nielsenian, I would appreciate your insights on specific
> flaws. I was able to navigate and find content with great ease.
>
> What would you change or do differently?
>
> cheers -pauric
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21442
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

--
IxD for better life style.

http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

15 Oct 2007 - 8:57am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Hi,

Pauric, this is a good example. For a site with lots of information,
especially a long list of links, a side nav or some sort of easy to
reach categories would make it much easier.

The content at the link I originally posted is easy to read and clear,
but I have no idea what's at the bottom of the page from the top.. a
small nav for subcategories would have cleared this up.

Also, there are so many links and they all have the same weight,
color, and spacing. It's hard to know where to go first and what to
look at. They could consider having the newest entries at the top, or
highlighting some of the best to give the user a starting point.

The visual design isn't very good either, but in the end that's easier
to overlook when using a site for it's content. It would make
browsing the site more pleasing if it looked better though :)

On 10/15/07, Jarod Tang <jarod.tang at gmail.com> wrote:
> For e.g., http://designinginterfaces.com/, it's almost for the same
> content and same purpose, this site makes the navigation of the
> content more friendly (because of the left side nav bar).
>
> Yes for embeded small screen, it's not very common. because the user's
> purpose and the input/output method is different ( so you'll use drill
> down because of the screen limitation).
>
> Cheers
> -- Jarod
>
> On Mon, 15 Oct 2007 06:36:39, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi Matt, I'm not that well versed on what makes a good 'web'site, I
> > design embedded interfaces on appliances. Granted the site is a
> > little Nielsenian, I would appreciate your insights on specific
> > flaws. I was able to navigate and find content with great ease.
> >
> > What would you change or do differently?
> >
> > cheers -pauric
> >
> >

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

15 Oct 2007 - 9:16am
.pauric
2006

Just to play the devils advocate, as I do like Jenifer's site.... "(her)
site makes the navigation of the
content more friendly (because of the left side nav bar)."

As both sites roughly follow the sequential format of a book, especially
true with Jenifer's content, it could be argued that forcing a user to
constantly scroll down for the later pages is something of a flaw with
simple left/right nav. The 'Bad Designs' site allows a reader to flip
though the content without forcing them to scroll down past the 'fold'
everytime the want to move to the next page.

I agree with both Matt & Jarod that always present Nav is a good thing. I
think the underlying flaw is the way both sites interrupt the experience
with fairly flat layout that doesnt necessarily require scrolling.

Here's an example of what can be done when you think about content as you
design the architecture, as opposed to building a navigation system and then
hooking it to the content separately.

http://htmlplayground.com
http://www.ted.com/index.php/themes

Either way, thanks for clarifying the flaws. Its always good to share
insights.
thanks, pauric

15 Oct 2007 - 4:06pm
Lynn Leitte
2007

I'm offering up a diversion in this thread from a conversation about
the form and function of this little site toward a conversation about
the content of the site.

Interestingly, the site compiler makes no distinction between things
that are poorly designed and things that are poorly placed, such as
the mop sink. This mop sink is probably not poorly designed relative
to what it was intended for. It's placement leads to mis-interpreation
of its function or perhaps disregard for its function, if it is
understood not to be a urinal.

Also dismissed are the lines between "badly designed" (the fridge door
and the file cabinet) and "I didn't read the directions and couldn't
make it work, so it therefore must be poorly designed" (the parking
pass) and "I have never experienced this before; everything should
work like something I'm already familiar with" (toothpaste and master
butter knife, which is for serving butter not for cutting things).

So the question in my mind is, why are these distinctions *not*
important? I think they are. Context and intent *are* important.

The implication becomes, when these distinctions are moot, that
everything needs to be intuitive and familiar. Yet, what is intuitive
to me may not be intuitive to another. What is familiar some else may
be foreign to me.

What happens to pushing the envelope of design and functionality if
the criteria of familiarity and intuitiveness rule judging the design?

Did the design(er) inherently fail if the implementer has placed
something out of context?

Lynn

On 10/11/07, Matthew Nish-Lapidus <mattnl at gmail.com> wrote:
> The actual design of this site isn't very good.. but the content is fantastic.
>
> http://www.baddesigns.com/examples.html

15 Oct 2007 - 4:37pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Lynn said:
>The implication becomes, when these distinctions are moot, that
>everything needs to be intuitive and familiar. Yet, what is intuitive
>to me may not be intuitive to another. What is familiar some else may
>be foreign to me.

There is often conflict between change and effectiveness. We change sites all the time... and if we get 10 strong complaints (and we do) for changing things... even with 200,000 uniques, many of the business guys freak out. Change is nearly always hard. Good design can be void of that consideration... great design can facilitate that transition.

>What happens to pushing the envelope of design and functionality if
>the criteria of familiarity and intuitiveness rule judging the design?

There has to be some trade off. There is some measure of new utitlity, reconciled against a measure of resistance to change. The difference determines the adotpion rate of the new. If you figure out how to consistently measure this you will be a hero to innovation.

>Did the design(er) inherently fail if the implementer has placed
>something out of context?

Someone needs to be the champion - for ideas, designs and products. This is one of the great failings of waterfall. Most times there is not a nearly omnipotent champion to battle the compromise and mediocrity that comes with design by committee. Yes, if implemented badly, the design often fails.

Mark

15 Oct 2007 - 6:20pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

On 10/15/07, Mark Schraad <mschraad at mac.com> wrote:
> Someone needs to be the champion - for ideas, designs and products. This is one of the great failings of waterfall. Most times there is not a nearly omnipotent champion to battle the compromise and mediocrity that comes with design by committee. Yes, if implemented badly, the design often fails.

I'm tempted to go a step further and say that implementation, when
integral to usability, is -part- of the design.

If the design is great, but the implementation puts it in the wrong
context then the whole thing is broken. Context is part of design..

Now, in the example of the mop bucket, nothing stops people from
buying a product and using it improperly.. that's not the designer's
fault. But, to a certain extent, the design should imply or state a
use and context.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if the design fails to show people
where and how to use the product, that is a failure of the design.. if
it does that and the product is still misused, that is a failure of
the user.

Sorry, that was a bit ramble-y.. but I think I got the idea out.

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

16 Oct 2007 - 6:01am
Jarod Tang
2007

> I guess what I'm trying to say is if the design fails to show people
> where and how to use the product, that is a failure of the design.. if
> it does that and the product is still misused, that is a failure of
> the user.
Maybe it's a bit risk to think user's failure. It's nearly all come
from miss design. ;-).

Cheers
-- Jarod
--
IxD for better life style.

http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

16 Oct 2007 - 9:30am
Melvin Jay Kumar
2007

While we all discuss the various implications, and I think no one is
wrong. I think ultimately, it depends on the purpose of the site and
why it was created.

It could be just a simple, I just want a basic site to create a list
of all the bad design I encounter and share with some people.

I guess, with that basic premise, the site meets its goals.

Now, if we are talking about visual design, improvement of overall
architecture, etc...etc... definitely this site could do all that.

But if the site meets its intended goal and the users are able to do
what was envisioned, I think it is successful.

My two cents. =)

Regards,

Melvin Jay Kumar

On 10/16/07, Jarod Tang <jarod.tang at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I guess what I'm trying to say is if the design fails to show people
> > where and how to use the product, that is a failure of the design.. if
> > it does that and the product is still misused, that is a failure of
> > the user.
> Maybe it's a bit risk to think user's failure. It's nearly all come
> from miss design. ;-).
>
> Cheers
> -- Jarod
> --
> IxD for better life style.
>
> http://jarodtang.blogspot.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

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