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How To Make Designs That Suck: Bad Advice for Designers

Bad advice for UI/UX designers - illustration by Paula Cruz

While everybody else tries their hardest to become better UI and UX designers, why not be smarter and go in reverse? Nobody will expect that kind of genius, that’s for sure. A piece of advice for designers: do everything from the list below and your web and app designs will be UNFORGETTABLE and your users will always be properly frustrated.
So let’s begin.

#1 Select the first idea that comes to your head 

Don’t try to come up with several more approaches to solving a design problem, choose the first one that seems OK and the job’s done. Off for another adventure.
Bad advice for designers: Take the first idea

#2 Use as many fonts, colors, and details as you can

Make your designs rich so that everyone would marvel at the full extent of your knowledge. You need to use all your creative talents in our go as if there’s no tomorrow.
Otherwise, how would anyone find out about your superb mastery of typography unless you cram your designs to the brim with various beautiful fonts? Anything but Comic Sans and Papyrus, right?
Ryan gosling: Papyrus
Still need more diversity? Make some parts of the text Light, and others Medium, and Bold, and Italic. If you are making a logo, use as many colors as you can, make it really nauseating and tacky. 
Bad advice for designers: Colors
The thing is, the 21st century has lost a lot in terms of originality. Be that island of lush creativity in the ocean of sterile minimalism and the world will be grateful to you. Show them what it means to be a designer, make your works shine like beacons in the dark. Users don’t pass by websites and apps like this, they get deeply impressed, and tell their friends and relatives about them.

Bad web design examples


#3 Never think your designs through

Who needs design systems and grids? Do everything by eye estimate and make every button, form, and other UI elements unique. If you later want to change some border-radius everywhere, do it with every separate element, that’s a truly caring attitude towards your job, everybody will appreciate how much of your soul you put into it.  

#4 Never follow trends

What’s the point in keeping up with the latest UI/UX design trends if what they are is… Trends. They change every year. There’s no point in learning what people like nowadays, what other designers do to make their job easier, and what the big companies came up with to make their businesses more successful. Classics forever. Always use classics in any situation and you’ll pass for a really smart person who knows that all those trends are nothing more than fads.
Bad advice for designers: Trends
And, by the way, why not set the trends yourself? 

#5 Never learn the basics and read books about design

Never learn anything, really. Your days are too short for this, you have work to do. Always be satisfied with your current abilities and who you are at the moment, that’s the key to being a happy and harmonious person. Don’t let insidious thoughts about self-improvement sneak into your head, they will slow you down. 

#6 Don’t try to make your life (and the lives of others) easier

Do everything in your power to make your routine as confusing as possible.
For example, when naming files and Figma layers, components, and colors, leave all those endless Rectangles be as they are. Never think about devising a logical and consistent system for naming your files and layers. Oh, and don’t forget to add the word “final” to every one of your file names. 
Instead, spend a ton of happy hours trying to make sense of an impenetrable heap they are. It means you’re working really hard. Do more.
Bad advice for designers: Do more
And if other designers can’t make heads or tails of your designs, that’s probably for the better, they all want to steal your ideas.

#7 Don’t respect deadlines, you are too creative a person

You didn’t choose a creative profession to abide by the stiff rules of others. They’ll respect you even more if you disrupt some timelines here and there because if you do everything in time, it means that you didn’t work hard enough. Now, if you are late, it means a project was very complex and you’ve put a great deal of effort into it.

#8 Always work alone

Don’t listen to colleagues, what good could they tell you? A good designer knows it all and can do everything on an excellent level from a package design to animation. If you ask questions and don’t know something, somebody might think that you’re unprofessional. 
Collaboration? Never heard of it. You can generate and execute all the ideas yourself. Doesn’t matter how much time you spend on it and what is the result. And don’t show it to managers, clients, and other fellow designers. Right up until the deadline starts to loom on the horizon and there’s nothing anyone can do to change the situation. After which… Well, see the previous point.
Bad advice for designers: Expert

#9 Don’t tolerate changes and corrections

If somebody wants to change your designs, they don’t respect you and probably want to hurt you. Who knows things better than you? Clients and managers don’t know anything about UI/UX design and in no way it’s possible that you’ve made some mistakes in your works. It’s you who should influence the opinion of others, not the other way around because you are a professional and know best.
Bad advice for designers: Critique

#10 Don’t follow the guidelines

This is a rich one, let’s linger on it for a bit.
The important thing is to not trust other designers and t not look at their works. Remember: everybody else’s path is doing boring soulless conventional stuff. Your path is to improve this world and bring something new into it. 
Bad advice for designers: Originality
Doesn’t matter that clients and users don’t understand a thing about how your design works, your job is to raise their level of intellectual development. For example, when designing forms, don’t try to make them better. Who likes filling in boring conventional web forms? Take User Inyerface as your example, see how clever their website is.
Invent unique navigation instead of following the best practices and new successful approaches, let your users be pleasantly surprised every step of the way. Look at this beautiful example of a password form that pays respect to the website’s security:

Your password must contain everything. from r/badUIbattles

After all, we need more clever people, right? Incompetent users are a scourge of our times and all those websites and apps with user-friendly interfaces are encouraging them to become even more dim-witted. This is a vicious circle, really. By making your designs delightfully complex with riddles and charades, you’ll make the people of tomorrow grateful to you for raising the generations of geniuses. I second Kara Pernice from Nielsen Norman Group in this respect.
Even better, other designers and developers will lose their sleep because of how cool and ingenious your works are.
And don’t listen to developers who say that your marvelous ideas that add artistry can’t be done in reality and browsers just don’t support them. It’s their job to make it work. Again, you are not here to make their lives simpler. Uniqueness — that’s the key. No need to research the project beforehand and ask the client if they need originality at all.

Tired of dropdowns? Try our new pixel art country selector! from r/badUIbattles

#11 Don’t train your soft skills

The only thing that you need to know is your tools, there’s no need to learn how to find a common language with clients, and other designers and developers. Psychology has nothing to do with being a good UI/UX designer.
Never explain anything to a client or a manager, be arrogant and unfriendly. Use more lingo to sound like a superior person. Argue a lot, tell clients how they should do their business. 
Bad advice for designers: Communication

#12 Design for yourself

Under no circumstances do you need to ask a client questions about their business and how to better suit the needs of the target audience. What does your job have to do with business at all?
People don’t make websites and apps to make a profit. They just need them to be beautiful. Don’t stick to the brief, be creative. Brand strategy, sales volume, target audience — these are for other people. They are trying to bring you back down to earth and cut your creative wings. Art and marketing have nothing in common. 
Never forget that you are a Creator. Rely on your own tastes, not your audience’s. Like Apple? Just do whatever they do when no matter whether you are making an educational app for kids or a healthcare one for adults. Colors may have different meanings for different people, let alone preferences resulting from people being of different generations and countries, but these all don’t matter. Real beauty is universal and you know of all people what it looks like.
Bad advice for designers: Artistry

#13 Don’t spend your time on sketches

A good designer doesn’t need them and is able to see everything ahead with their inner eye. Go straight to designing the real thing and strive for perfection on the first go. Have a tattoo that says Pixel Perfect. And another one with Golden Ratio. Try to make your designs mathematically perfect from the start, spend lots of time on this pleasant activity.
So don’t waste your and your client’s time making sketches, mock-ups, and prototypes. Your clients are busy people. By asking them questions, you distract them from their work. Go straight to business designing on a high-fidelity screen. And if it so happens later that the job’s done but you missed something in the beginning, well, a client will just have to go without it.
Bad advice for designers: Handoff

#14 If you learn something new, use it everywhere

Even if you learn something new, let as many people as possible see how cool and clever you are. For that, use that new thing in every one of your designs during the next six months. Use a trendy tool or a library, don’t try to analyze if it’s a good fit altogether. If it’s trendy, then it must be good, right?
Discovered how good illustrations can be for business? Use them everywhere. Animation? Even better. Amaze users with the abundance of motion and make your websites really slow. You deserve that users reverently waited until they are able to behold your work.
Bad advice for designers: Animation

#15 Consider your work done after the handoff

Don’t try to analyze your ideas further after you handed the files to a dev team. If users get stuck somewhere, then there’s something wrong with them, your designs are perfect. You don’t want to check how well they hold against the numbers.

#16 Design without content in mind

Design without content, use Lorem Ipsum. And if your layout looks stupid on some particular website, like the titles are too long or your navigation decision is not the right fit, let other people and businesses adapt to you and your vision, that’s their problem.

#17 Don’t think about accessibility

That’s a buzzword, right? What percentage of people in real life need it? Don’t think about it, don’t waste your time.

The theme I created for the access database at my job from r/badUIbattles

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This article is to celebrate this year’s Fool’s Day🙂 If you are a designer, don’t follow these pieces of advice unless you really want to do it the hard way. And still, know that no matter how many mistakes you make, the important thing is what you do with them. Find the balance between self-criticism and confidence. Happy designing!
Gif images from and

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Written by Kate Shokurova

April 04, 2021

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