As a prime example she cites many digital printers. Many are overly complicated, don’t do what they say, jam up, or break down. They are the number one product that people smash in “Rage Rooms,” places in North America where consumers take out their anger and destroy products they hate.
Even some companies known for brilliant design have fallen victim to some of bad design decisions. Apple, for instance, has suffered a loss of trust even among its fans because of the recent revelation that it had designed it iPads and iPhones with aging batteries to slow down. Apple said it was done to prolong device life, but it wasn’t upfront with consumers.
“It is very difficult and take a long time to overcome the loss of trust, the consequence of that bad design decision,’’ she said.
Bad design can have positive consequences. One of the most successful examples is the design of cigarette packaging using the ugliest pantone color possible and photos of the medical consequences of smoking. “The result was that in Australia over 800,000 people gave up smoking within the first few years the packaging was adopted,’’ said Rawsthorn.
But that’s a rare positive instance. Generally, Rawsthorn said, “If you look at the enthusiasm with which designers are moving into new and more important areas, you can also see the many mistakes and their consequences. So it is absolutely essential that we get a grip on the phenomenon of bad design.’’