It’s pretty easy for us designers to tut and shake our heads knowingly when we see something that doesn’t conform to “accepted practice”. I confess: I do it too. There are times when I see something that doesn’t match the way I’d do it, or breaks every rule in the book.
But here’s the thing:
Unless people break rules, try new things or even old things in new contexts then how are we going to move forward? And who’s not to say the next crazy idea isn’t going to become a ubiquitous standard just because right here and now it doesn’t match our nicely compartmentalised best practices and current data.
I think this attitude can become quite limiting. Not only does it stop the critic and their subject from advancing, I also think it can act as a brake on those who might try, but fear merciless mocking and memes.
So I’ve decided to check this behaviour. Yes, I’m still going to critique, but I’ll also continue to explore “bad” designs to check I’m not missing something, or to see if there are bits and pieces that can be pulled out to move my knowledge – and that of my clients – further.
Buried inside these designs that we’re sometimes so quick to write off, are the gems that will advance by leaps and bounds. I hope I’m alert enough to set aside the noise of criticism and spot it.