An Understanding Of What Makes A Good Design, And Bad Design

Before you start designing your products, it’s important to understand what makes for good design and what makes for bad design. This post will walk through some of the most common elements that make up a good or bad design.

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Key Takeaways
Good design effectively communicates and engages users.
Bad design can lead to confusion and poor experiences.
Aesthetic appeal is essential, but usability matters.
Consistency and clarity contribute to design quality.
Understanding user needs is crucial for design success.

Be Consistent

Consistency is a key factor in good design. Consistency gives your users the sense that they are interacting with a cohesive product and not separate parts thrown together for no reason.

Consistent elements include:

  • Fonts, colors, shapes, and sizes of buttons
  • The layout of the page or screen includes text alignment and ordering (left-aligned text is most common)
  • The placement of features on each page/screen

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Have A Focal Point

A focal point is a visual element that draws attention. It’s often used as a way to direct the viewer’s eyes and make them focus on specific elements of design. For example, if you were to outline the human body without any shading or color, you’d have what’s called a silhouette. 

This is often used in design because it creates an interesting focal point for people to look at (and it also makes your designs easier to read).

The benefit of having one single element stand out while everything else remains simple or plain is that there’s zero confusion about what should be looked at first; when viewers see something bright red jump out at them among lots of other things that are black and white or grayish-brownish-greenish, they will naturally gravitate towards it automatically.

Incorporate Geometric Shapes And Patterns

Incorporate geometric shapes and patterns.

Geometric shapes are easy to read, they are easy to create, they are easy to understand, they are easy to remember, they are easy to use and they’re even easier to draw.

Geometric designs can be made using basic tools such as scissors or scissors and a glue stick. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes in cutting out your shapes or folding them incorrectly if it doesn’t come out right the first time around!

For example, if you want something like a pentagon then all you need is two equilateral triangles connected at their bases (wherever this happens). If this isn’t clear enough just check out some tutorials online before starting your project so that everything makes sense going forward!

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Remember The Rule Of Three

As you’ve probably noticed, the rule of three is everywhere. You can find it in architecture, music, art, and literature. It’s a great way to make your design more interesting and easier to understand. Let’s look at some examples:

The Three Little Pigs – The first little pig builds his house with straw, but he gets blown down by the Big Bad Wolf. The second little pig builds with sticks and gets eaten by the wolf as well. 

Finally, the third little pig builds his house from bricks and mortar – which keeps him safe from harm! This tale teaches us that there are many ways of doing things (straw vs stick vs brick), but some are better than others (brick). 

It also tells us that if we’re going to do something big or start something new then we should do it right so that we don’t get into trouble later on down the road (like having all your stuff stolen!).

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Align To An Invisible Grid

A grid is a framework of imaginary lines that can be aligned with your designs to create consistency and balance. A website should always have a grid, whether it’s obvious or not.

Why use a grid? Grids make your design look good! They provide guidelines for where elements should go and how they should be spaced out so that there is clarity for the user in terms of where they are and what they need to do next. 

A well-designed website will make sure that everything is perfectly aligned with each other, which creates an orderly feel while also allowing you as the designer to showcase your work in an aesthetically pleasing way.

It may seem like you have no control over how big or small your text will look when viewed on someone else’s computer monitor (or mobile device), but if it’s on a web page then I guarantee you there’s going to be some sort of guidebook around telling these people where everything should go so at least everyone has some consistency across all devices!

Web designers must use grids because their job is only partially about aesthetics it’s also about usability! The job description says “creates websites” but what does this mean? It means creating things people want: great designs that solve problems; easy-to-use interfaces; content that makes sense; etc.

Contrast Is Key

Contrast is the difference between two or more elements. Contrast can be achieved in many ways, such as using color, size, and shape.

To achieve contrast effectively, you have to have a good understanding of what makes up a design. In this article, I am going to explain the importance of contrast and how it should be used in the design.

When we talk about contrasts we are referring to differences between two or more elements in your designs. It helps create visual interest, which results in an effective composition that draws the attention of your audience. 

You may notice that some websites will use lots of different colors within their sites; however, these colors work together because they are contrasting each other very well! For example, Blue has been used for links while orange was used for text boxes throughout this website (see below). 

This creates balance within them since they don’t compete too much with each other visually so users can easily read through all content without getting distracted by multiple bright colors at once!

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Balance Elements On A Page

Balance is a key element of design that helps guide the viewer’s eye through a page. Balance can be achieved by using the rule of thirds, focal points, negative space, symmetry, and the golden ratio.

The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a useful guideline for determining where to place elements on a page so that they’re balanced and not too crowded or sparsely spaced out. 

It’s based on dividing an image into thirds along both horizontal and vertical axes two-thirds at the top would contain your main subject while one-third below would contain supporting elements like text or other visual information. 

If you’d rather use an image instead of drawing outlines yourself, there are plenty available online free for personal use (just make sure you adhere to all licensing requirements).

White Space Is Your Friend

White space is the space on a page or screen that isn’t filled with content. It’s visually perceived as a negative space, and it can be used to separate elements, create visual emphasis and draw attention to certain parts of your design. 

When using white space effectively, you’ll notice that it has a calming effect on viewers it gives them time to process what they’re seeing before moving on to something else.

White space creates balance by providing a balance between various elements: large objects (like illustrations) need room around them so they don’t look cluttered; small objects need more breathing room than larger ones do; items placed in groups should have some distance between them so they don’t appear too cramped or crowded together. 

White space also adds value by giving readers time to absorb information before moving on to new content; this makes reading far easier on both ends for writers who want readers immersed in their work, and for readers who may otherwise get overwhelmed if everything was right up against each other all at once.”

Play With Scale And Proportion


The size, or scale, of a design element can be used to create emphasis and hierarchy. If you want to emphasize an important piece of content (like the headline), then make it larger than other elements in your design this is called “scaling up”.


To create consistency throughout a design, use consistent proportions for all elements. For example, if you choose a 16px font size for all text elements and headlines on your site, then do so consistently throughout each page. 

With this approach, you’ll also help users find things quickly because they won’t need to guess how big or small something should be.

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By combining the above two principles (scale & proportion) we end up with rhythm – which means that elements look good together when their sizes are predictable relative to one another across multiple pages/screens/devices etc. 

This gives users confidence that they will understand where they’re going next without having to think about it too deeply; instead, they can just scroll down and focus on reading content rather than trying to figure out where they are at any given moment because everything looks familiar!

Use Negative Space Creatively

Negative space is an important design element that can be used creatively to draw attention to the positive elements of a design or to create balance and harmony. When you use negative space well, it makes your other elements stand out and become more effective.

Negative space can be used to make other elements stand out. A good example of this is page layout: when you have text on one side of a page and an image on the other side, with plenty of white in between them (space), it creates a contrast between the two elements. 

This contrast makes each element stronger because they’re seen individually rather than blended together in one image or paragraph.

Negative space can also create depth within an image by using patterns like lines or geometric shapes that aren’t filled in with color but instead left open (empty). 

These uncolored areas give a sense of distance between objects; when looking at something that’s far away vs close up, we usually see less detail  so using these “blank” spaces allows us as viewers to focus on what’s closer without being distracted by things farther away from us.”

All Of These Tips Should Help You To Create Better Designs

As you go about your work, keep these tips in mind. They’re all good ones, and they’ll help you create better designs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Good Design And A Bad Design?

A good design is effective at what it does, whether that be solving problems or making people feel something. A bad design may be aesthetically pleasing, but if it doesn’t accomplish its purpose, then it’s not a good piece of work. 

For example, let’s say you’re designing your living room so that it looks nice for visitors. You might decide to use bright colors and patterns on the walls or flooring because those things are typically considered pretty in interior design. 

However, if your goal was only to make the room look nice for visitors (and not solve any problems), then your choice of wall color could make their stay less enjoyable since they might have difficulty sleeping in such an environment! 

Therefore if we were looking at this project as objectively as possible (which we won’t do), we would have determined that our original decision wasn’t practical because while it looked nice enough on its own merits alone; there was no point in doing something just because someone else thought such things were supposed to be done when designing living rooms.”

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What Makes A Good Design?

A good design provides an excellent experience for the user. If a user can achieve their goal quickly, easily, and enjoyably, that’s a great design. 

If it takes them forever to figure out how to do something or they get frustrated because the UI was poorly thought out, then it’s not so great. And if they have to use your app when they don’t want to (like when they’re already in bed), forget about it! That’s not good at all.

What Makes A Bad Design?

A bad design does not provide an excellent experience for its users and often leads them astray instead of helping them reach their goals faster, easier, and more enjoyably than ever before possible with any other tool available today (or tomorrow). 

Bad designs can be frustrating or even embarrassing; sometimes they’re even downright dangerous! And this is why we need good ones: so people can avoid bad ones completely or at least know which ones are worth trying out first before deciding whether or not they’d rather use another tool instead!


Design is a massive and diverse field, with as many styles and opinions on design as there are designers. It’s up to you to decide what kind of designer you want to be, but now you have a better idea of how to make that decision. 

You know that there are many different types of design graphic, environment­al, product and they all require different skills. Now you understand what makes good design: it’s thoughtful, it solves problems for other people, and it’s driven by the needs of our culture today. 

That doesn’t mean every designer has to jump on the cutting edge; some designers thrive in more traditional settings. But even if you’re operating within an older style or medium, your work can still be innovative by responding directly to the times we live in (while also paying respects where respect is due). 

In short: good design is meaningful regardless of its context. Finally, we talked about the difference between being a “designer” and being “creative” or rather, how being a designer requires both creativity and critical thinking skills. 

Designers don’t just dream up new ways to do things; they also learn how to turn those dreams into reality through various tools and processes that allow them to build something useful out of their ideas. The next step is for you? We hope this article helps guide your journey!

Further Reading

Understanding the Difference Between Good and Bad Design: Explore insights into the distinctions between good and bad design, uncovering the impact of design choices on user experiences.

Examples of Good and Bad Design from Everyday Life: Discover real-world instances of good and bad design, drawn from everyday situations, and learn from their implications.

Learning from 5 Examples of Bad Design vs. Good Design: Dive into five detailed examples of both bad and good design, gaining insights into design principles and their effects on user perception.


What makes a design “good” or “bad”?

Design quality is often determined by factors such as usability, aesthetics, functionality, and user satisfaction. Good design effectively fulfills its intended purpose and provides a positive user experience, while bad design might lead to confusion, frustration, or inefficiency.

How does good design impact user engagement?

Good design enhances user engagement by creating intuitive interfaces, clear communication, and seamless interactions. Users are more likely to stay engaged with a product or service that offers a visually pleasing and user-friendly experience.

Can you provide an example of bad design leading to poor user experience?

Certainly. A confusing navigation menu on a website that makes it difficult for users to find information could be considered an example of bad design. Users might get frustrated and leave the site, resulting in a negative experience.

What are some key principles of good design?

Good design principles include simplicity, consistency, clear hierarchy, appropriate use of color and typography, and consideration for user needs and goals. These principles collectively contribute to an effective and visually appealing design.

How can designers improve their skills in creating good designs?

Designers can improve their skills by studying design principles, analyzing both good and bad design examples, seeking feedback from users, and continually practicing and refining their craft. It’s also valuable to stay updated on design trends and best practices.

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