We’ve all heard of crappy design, something that overlooks usability, logic and common sense, aesthetics, and people in general. We’re talking about billboards, TV commercials, product packaging and product design, websites and apps, and more.
The phenomenon of crappy design is that no matter how much our marketing strategies and advertising techniques have evolved over the past few decades, it still finds its way into our daily lives. Check out some examples of crappy design in bored pandaPrevious features from here, here and here.
This time we go further. Sometimes the design is so boring, nonsensical and outdated that it seems like the brands are doing it deliberately or at least shamelessly. There’s even an entire corner of reddit dedicated to “when a *** designs things”.
With 2.9 million members, the community pokes fun at the “nothing comes before profit, especially not the consumer” mentality. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the more devilish designs, so let us know what you think in the comments!
Bad design can be found everywhere, from the products we use every day to the websites we visit. Poorly designed products can be difficult to use, wasting our time and energy. They can also be dangerous, as faulty product or packaging designs can lead to accidents.
Meanwhile, poorly designed websites can be difficult to navigate, preventing us from finding the information we need. They can also be visually unattractive, making us less likely to return. At the same time, the app may have a very bad user experience, which means people will be hesitant to use it. From confusing navigation to cluttered layouts, anyone can spot a very poor design.
Your content is filling and polluting search engine results, but people can’t even see your bulls user-submitted content without signing up for a goddamn account. I’m going to add you to my personal blacklist so you don’t show up in my searches anymore and you don’t waste my time.
Jerk designs seem to go further than just bad designs and come across as downright unethical and immoral. They have crept into the products and services we consume, and sometimes we don’t even notice them.
According to Danny Sapio, senior product designer at Method and co-founder of Confettihabits.com, shrinking is a classic case of less product and more profit. “Companies are using this tactic to quietly sell less of a product at the same price than before.”
Additionally, Sapio argues that “companies can do this through labeling by displaying ‘FAMILY SIZE’ or ‘PARTY SIZE’ although it is the same amount as the regular item.” For us unsuspecting shoppers, it’s something that’s really easy to miss.
Another great example of jer design practices is the use of lethal enforcers. They require the user to take the action desired by the company before they can do what they intend to do.
“Lethal enforcers are essentially a way for companies to control decision-making for users. Instead of giving users a free choice, the company decides for the individual what decision to make and then makes it their only choice,” Sapio explained.
An example of a deadly enforcer is when you want to write a Yelp review but first need to download the brand’s app. “Or when a business removes relevant search results to display sponsored products or content.”
Sapio also urges looking for one of the trick questions known as loaded questions. They take advantage of our good nature. “We assume that we don’t need to read the entire question as we have already collected the information we need to answer it.”
Another very dodgy design practice is throttling. “Throttle is when a company intentionally downgrades the service or product in the hope that the customer will upgrade it. This is different from forced obsolescence because the product still works; it’s just much more slow and shitty than before,” the product designer explained.
It turns out that even giant brands like Apple have been found guilty of this. Apple has settled a class action lawsuit over its practice of slowing down older iPhones, agreeing to pay affected consumers up to $500 million.
“Another example is ‘unlimited’ data providers that sneakily slow down internet speeds once they exceed a certain data usage threshold,” Sapio concluded.