3 Design Disasters Worth Remembering

Most professional designers know the essentials of creating a website, logo, or app. Yet, there is no shortage of bad design examples. Why is this? Are the designers blind? Do they forget to test apps for usability? The likely answer is that these individuals are overconfident in their work. They don’t bother asking for opinions, or maybe they just don’t listen. This type of “know it all” attitude will surely lead you into failed designs. It is crucial to test websites and apps. You need user feedback for these platforms. Even if it’s just your friends and family, find people to give you honest feedback on your work. Here, we will look at three design disasters so that you might learn from the mistakes of others.

The London 2012 Logo

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London was a success with over 10,000 athletes participating in the games. However, the logo for the games was a complete disaster. The London Olympic Bidding Committee unveiled the logo in June 2007. In the same month, 80% of the votes cast in a BBC poll on the logo were unfavorable. People hated it, even foreigners. It actually stirred up some controversy. Iran threatened to skip the games thinking that the logo spelled ‘Zion.’ Simon Garfield, a renowned British journalist, stated that the logo had an awful font. The problem with the logo was that it was not clear, leaving room for many misinterpretations. A logo must be readable, otherwise, what is the point?

Gates and Fences Website (www.gatesnfences.com)

Every house needs a gate, especially if it is a mansion. Gates and Fences is a company that seeks to meet this need. Based in Miami FL, the company has a website where shoppers can view its services. Sadly, the design of the website is unbelievable. For instance, the font is tiny, so reading the content on the website is extremely challenging. Navigating through the site is also difficult, making it hard to determine what products and services the company offers. Even finding their contact details is problematic. Finally, the colors on the website have no harmony, making the site unattractive to visitors. This website is atrocious on multiple levels. Visit the site, take notes, and avoid designing anything that is similar.


Parents would like to know how their children are doing at any given time, especially when it comes to infants who cannot speak for themselves. Technology is now making it possible for people to know their kids’ activities in real time. Huggies diaper company unveiled an app in 2013 that sends parents a tweet whenever their child urinates. That is a good idea, right? Well, perhaps sending a direct message on Twitter would be a better idea than that one. It doesn’t end there, oh no. This app provides much more. It also gives parents the opportunity to retweet the information. It can even alert people when their baby defecates. Why would anyone want to share such a thing on Twitter? Clearly, those who designed the app for Huggies, Ogilvy Brazil, did not thoroughly think through the outcome. What probably seemed like a great idea, turned out to be pretty ridiculous. The lesson here is to make sure you understand the objective of your project.

Creativity is applauded in the world of design. It is great to think “outside of the box.” However, don’t get so far out of the box that you lose sight of your end user. Amazing designs are not plain or boring. They are interesting and clearly meet their objectives. Take notice of the above-mentioned design disasters so that you can avoid these mistakes in your own work.