Blog 53

We’ve all seen cases of bad design across a number of websites and apps. Sometimes, we even imagine what we’d do to improve them. As a UX and design agency, we come across lots of different digital products, some of which could do with some improvements. We’ve put together some of our worst UX and design nightmares in the spirit of Halloween.

Scary logo design

There are lots of examples of bad logo design, whether they don’t fit with the brand or look like something else entirely.. It’s one thing when a brand needs to refresh its look, but it can get really bad when the new design takes another direction.

Logos need to reflect the brand’s identity and you should spend some time researching different ideas to select the best one that fits with your company. It should never be a rush job and the more thought you put into it, the better it will be. This also doesn’t mean that you need to add lots of bells and whistles, logos can and should be simple.

Creeping on another brand

Working in a niche industry, such as online gambling, we tend to spot quite a few similarities between the operators’ apps and websites. There’s a lot of repetition or ‘me-tooism’ across the industry. Whether it’s a sports betting product or a casino website, it tends to look similar, as well as offering the same features and functionalities. For example, whenever one operator launches a successful new feature or a product, such as Cash Out, many others follow suit to keep up. This means, that innovation in gaming is quite limited or slow, and companies tend to use the tried and tested solutions instead of driving change themselves.

Displaying gaming content on a single page or a small screen can be quite a challenge. As designers, we have to overcome this by starting from a fresh perspective. This means venturing outside of gaming and there are plenty of fresh ideas used in other sectors too. However, ultimately, you need to do what is best for your users. What works for one business, doesn’t necessarily mean it will have the same effects on yours, so you need to find the right balance.

Strange UX

There’s nothing more jarring than a drastic change in the user experience or interface during the customer journey that makes you readjust your browsing behaviour. This often means that certain features weren’t created at the same time or with the whole UX in mind. It may not always affect the entire interaction, however, it’s best to avoid. When redesigning a part of the website or app, or adding a new feature, it’s always important to keep in mind how it might affect the rest of the product and if it could bring any changes to user behaviour.

Monstrous content

Content is very important for many businesses, but its placement can get a bit crammed above the fold, particularly in mobile apps. Developers need to realise that not everything has to be visible straight away and it’s ok to split the content into different sections. It’s important to prioritise and create the user journey accordingly. This will make it smoother and will help the user to navigate across your product with fewer distractions. Similarly, you don’t always have to limit interactions to one click. Adding an extra step is fine if it makes the user journey clearer.

Dangerous platform misuse

We often come across websites that are simply adapted to mobile or tablet devices due to legacy systems that would cost more to rebuild. However, their design or functionalities don’t always match the user expectations and create extra steps in engaging with them. For example, banners with a small print won’t be clearly visible on mobile as well as on a website, nor will users be able to tap on tiny buttons designed for mouse clicks and not fingers. These may be small details, but they are equally important in creating a comprehensive and seamless UX if you want users to engage with your product and keep coming back. Any obstacles they comes across during this interaction may cost you, especially if your business relies on transactions. Even if you’re not building a specialist app for mobile or tablet, it’s essential to rethink the website UX and adapt it to a smaller screen.

Freaky fonts

There are some pretty bad and overused fonts out there. Once, we received an email from a company that used Comic Sans. It was pretty hard to take them seriously. This is why SNL’s recent sketch about Papyrus received so many responses from designers and illustrators. They could all relate to seeing this font absolutely everywhere. Bank Gothic is Hollywood’s favourite, especially with sci-fi and thrillers. However, once you notice it on so many different films, it loses its originality. Fonts play a big role in branding and they need to be considered as part of your corporate identity. The more thought you put into them, the better they will fit.

We hope you've enjoyed this blog, but if you're having any design nightmares of your own, give us a call!

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