Truism: Poor Design vs. “Poor by Design”.

Truism: Poor Design vs. “Poor by Design”.

Design is an integral part of our life, and its importance in everyday life can never be underestimated; from the physical products we use to go about our livelihood, to the digital products we see and interact with on our mobile and computer screens; it's all one time or another have to pass through the design phase.

Design is one of the most important aspects of a product, and that’s why getting it wrong or with up a poor design can lead to the wreck of the whole ship.

When it comes to poverty in UX Design or designs that lack quality though, there are two distinctions you probably don’t know exist but yet, you should be taking strict cognizance of. 

There’s poor design, and then there’s poor by design, at first glance the two concepts may seem similar, but upon closer inspection, there’s an inherent difference. Both are bad, but one is actually worse.

Let’s explore extensively in this blog, the two concepts, Poor Design and Poor By Design, their differences, and how to avoid these types of designs, ensuring absolute quality in designs. 

  • Poor Design! Vs Poor By Design!
  • Quality Design: Uncommon Characteristics your design should possess

  1. Poor Design! Vs Poor By Design!

Poor Design:

When we talk about a design being Poor, we are basically referring to what a user experiences during the use of your product. You may have your product designed and everything working fine; the accessibility, usability, interface, etc, all perfect, but yet still have your product tagged Poor. 

Product Designs that have good User I but still find themselves under the category of Poor Design have been found over the years to be mostly because of one factor, The “Loss of time” factor. No user in the world of today wants his or her time taken for granted, the internet is a competitive place, and a lot of things draw a user’s attention per time. If an aspect of your product seems to take its time, it may develop impatience and a bad perception of your brand

This is a sad reality for designers and business owners out there, and it can affect the success of a product negatively.

Here are some scenarios that can lead to a loss of time:

  • Avoidable Forms

Having a product that requires the user to input the same set of information more than once can be frustrating. For example, a user who has been prompted to fill out a form earlier while using an app is, during the usage of that app, taken to another page where he has to refill in that exact information, similar information, or an additional step. This is basically making the user go through additional stress, wasting the user’s time (loss of time), and possibly leading to the user being frustrated. 

While designing your product, try as much as possible to minimize the number of times your users have to work. 


There are some forms in our app or data fields that can be avoidable. It offers no benefit or consequence, but it isn’t too dire.

  • Product doesn’t include Google Sign-in

Sign In With Google helps to quickly and easily manage user authentication and sign-in to your website or application. It reduces the burden of login for your users, by enabling them to sign in with their Google account. When this option of easy and swift sign-in is completely absent from your website or mobile application, and what you have is a signup or sign-in form with numerous fields which users have to fill before they gain access, would make signing up or subsequent login into your platform a lot more stressful as compared to your competitors.

Here's an image that illustrates a signup interface that does not have the option of (one click signup using google)

  • Too much information needed at sign up

You don’t have to demand too much from users at the point of signing up. Users are lazy as earlier established, so don't make them go through stress at the first point of encounter with your product. Let their first experience with your app or website require less to no work from them. 

Here's an Image or simple illustration of a page that requires the user to fill in various info during sign up, like this-

Every data or information you need can be collected when they fully get on board.

  • UI Onboarding Guide

User Interface onboarding guide or tutorial should not be a thing of compulsion. Some users may already know their way around your product, having used your product before or something similar. If you make such users lose their time by not making the onboarding tutorial skippable, giving them the liberty to skip the interface guide, frustration may set in and your design may be considered a poor one.

All these examples/scenarios will waste the time of the user as they use your product, which is not a good impression to leave your users with about your brand or product.

Poor By Design:

A poor by-design product on the other hand extends a little further and is quite worse as compared to the former. Websites, mobile applications, or services placed under the “Poor By Design” category are products that lack inherent features or characteristics needed to make a product user worthy. Essential characteristics like usability and accessibility are most times always absent, which can therefore be a source of confusion, and frustration and ultimately leading to a very high bounce rate. When your designs find themselves in this state, it definitely offers no benefit to either you or your customers. In fact, you stand a chance of losing your existing customers or never acquiring new ones.

For example: Take a look at this website’s home page

This screenshot above shows a website with not too good UI. A user will get confused when they land on the page. Each moving small picture is actually a link. They are moving all the time, the text itself is very vague, and the user will not even know what information is displayed.

To avoid these types of designs, it’s important to know some key characteristics in the foundation of quality designs.

2. Quality Design: Characteristics

One important characteristic that stands out when it comes to delivering quality designs is accessibility. Accessibility in design is essential, it allows for a wider range of user types and interactions to unfold. This is very important to have this in mind, especially when you want to ensure quality products and top notch user experience. Accessibility, however, is not the only characteristic that ensures quality product designs. Some other characteristics are:  

  • Intuitiveness 

The best UI design can be picked up quickly and easily by the people using it, without being too complex or long-winded for them to understand what you’re trying to say with your mobile app for Android, iOS or website design, etc. Let’s take icons for example. They are in every UI kit. They should have concise labels as well as be visually representative enough of the actual task they are replicating to allow for user intuition.

  • Consistency and Clarity Play a Part

Here are the top two elements that can make or break UI design:


Good UI design requires consistency. It is a fundamental rule to ensure that the application is easily learned and used. This includes both the visual and behavioral aspects of the design. The user interface shouldn’t be inconsistent with itself or its content and other design elements.

Consistency in UI design ensures an intuitive understanding of how different parts of an app interact. It allows for speedier navigation through menus and less time to look at tool tips to find out what happens when you do a specific action within your application’s environment.


Clarity is one of the most important features in UI design. It signals to your users that you know what you are doing and that the app they are using is trustworthy. Clarity in UI design can come from consistency, simplicity, and truth in messaging.

If you are consistent with your design, it will be clear to users. For example, if all of the text is left-aligned and in the same font on every page, then that’s very consistent and easy for people to read through quickly without getting distracted by other things.

  • Inclusivity

By designing inclusively, designers acknowledge diversity. Not all users have the same needs. A good graphical user interface should be easy to use and understand for everyone. 

The first step to designing inclusively is getting to know the users and understanding their needs. This helps UX designers create a product that is flexible, functional, and enjoyable for all. 

To wrap it all up,

As established, Product design is one of the most important aspects of a business’s success today, so investing in quality designs should be your top priority. Quality designs don’t come cheap, but it’s worth every time, money, and effort. To ensure optimum designs, we advise you to hire a professional design agency. 

Getting your company's perfect fit professional agency however can be a little tricky as there are thousands of design agencies out there.

To make sure you don't make the wrong call, we developed a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right design agency partner for your company. Check it out HERE! :)

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