Bad Design = Good Design


Play of the light, is it all just a trick of the light

Now I am not a fan of Facebook and its closed garden of social networking, I tried it all out, I got bored, simple. I find the application just an endless spammer with notifications from zombies, to the colouring of someones dog’s left nipple. Frankly I just don’t want to know about most of it. My life is just way too busy for most of Facebook. I have also stayed away for the addictive games (sorry Kay) in Facebook as well, for good reason.

Assaulted on Facebook

Now a close relative is using Facebook, ideal use of the site to connect up with them (as long as their employer doesn’t think the site is evil). As you all know that have been using Facebook, there have been a good number of banner adverts of late. Its as if the evil end of the marketing spectrum have been taking over; maybe that its a good thing, no?

Anyway arrive in Facebook and I’m visually assaulted by a dangerously animating banner advert. It was animating in rapid succession red, white and black. Now normally these adverts have no effect on me. But this one I had to turn away it was just making my head spin. I have know idea how anyone suffering for epilepsy would go when they encounter this advert.

have people lost the sense of design

The marketing designer no doubt considered that this advert would lead people in, and make them click, or at the least stand out. Well it did stand out, but for all the wrong reasons.

This leads me to question. Doesn’t a Social Networking Site have a duty of care to its audience or a little ethics (now thats a major blog topic for another day). Now if you run or work for a social networking site, do you vet your adverts, or at least say what is not allowed to be shown. I would be really interested to know.

As it appears that Facebook doesn’t give a damn. Shame on you Facebook. I expect you will be in court soon if you don’t decide change your policy.

Have the Marketeers taken over

So adverts that remind me of the bad days of the web, before the times of accessibility guidelines. And now we have some marketing type with a few numbers deciding that “click here” with a call to action is a good idea. No real good data based on scientific method.

I really would like to question the statistics on this one:

  • the number of people in the sample.
  • The error rates (statistical errors on distribution curve).
  • are we talking like with like topics being discussed.
  • was any eye or mouse tracking done.
  • was any over iconography design director considered.

Are people that stupid that they need to be told how to click on a link, this isn’t like circa 1999-2002 last I looked.

I can understand the concept of using a term like “click here to continue reading about Fruit Fly” not that I would recommend using the term “click here”. Its got nothing to do with Google Juice, you can get that from a good use of the title tag, but it’s about the fact that people just aren’t really clicking. Sure your “click here” will work for a while, then people will become link blind, like they have become banner ad blind. They will just start to ignore links with click here in them. So I suppose we will be using correctly designed links.

Insensitivity the new black

Okay it’s an old story on the blogosphere, but its in context. Have people become totally insensitivity to people with disabilities in the community, As Jeremy Keith discovered on the SitePoint Forums (which I don’t visit for various reasons). I do read the SitePoint blogs however, they are written by practicing web professionals.

Have we forgotten the people that have: lack of motor function (every tried to use your computer with an arm in a sling), colour blind, short sighted, cognitive or reading disabilities, deaf, blind. It’s not a minority, most of us have some form of disability. Maybe we should just all get off the web. Come on it just takes few minutes more to make it accessible.

Are we all such scrooges that we can’t afford to design for accessibility. Maybe we need to go preach this message to the masses not the choir.

Yes there has always been an undercurrent of this, but have we lost the web to the marketing people that are just chasing the dollar at any cost. And what can we do about it!

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