Design
October 6, 2021

Characteristics of Bad Product and Tips to Design Better

Characteristics of Bad Product and Tips to Design Better


We all have been the victims of poor product designs. The web page that takes a longer time to load, that unclickable button in a website, or the search bar that can’t find a thing 😆. Here are some of the examples of bad product design criteria that you could refer to before designing a digital product. 

I am presenting the 9 poor digital product design criteria and highlighting the 9 principles of  Good Designs by Dieter Rams, a German industrial and functionalist designer, to guide you to create a good digital product design. You can refer to the principles of Good Design by Dieter in the blog here.

Issue 1: The Design is not innovative for human needs

Research is important before creating a product, and this must not be limited to your assumption. Get in touch with the potential users of your products, collect data from your potential consumers, understand their needs to create a product that could assist their digital experience. When designing a comprehensive product, the input should not be one-sided; the target market opinions should be taken into consideration too.  

Principle 1 : Good design is innovative.


Issue 2: The Design is not functional to its buyers

The frustration of owning a non-functional product is almost the same as buying expired products. You cannot use them anymore. The buyers of your products must be able to use the product,that’s the whole point they purchased, to be able to use the product. If your product cannot be used, this will reflect negatively on your brand. Your next product design might take some time for the buyers to be interested and build trust in your future products.

Principle 2: Good design makes a product useful


Issue 3 : The Design is not attractive to the eyes of target users


Say that you want to design a product for children. You have all the exciting storylines that you are confident children will fall in love with and have so much fun playing with it. But, the colors you have chosen are similar to the Nightmare in Elm Street movie. Oh no! 🤭 The digital product design that is less aesthetic to children is more likely to be dismissed once the games are displayed online.

Principle 3
: Good design is aesthetic


Issue 4: The Design is not self-explanatory or complicated


A good digital product design should be easy to understand. A confusing design will take some time for the consumer to be able to use it (eg: website), and this depends on their interest to continue using the product and their level of patience. When your product user can understand the organization of your digital product design, you are creating a pleasurable experience for your users.They’ll love your product!

Principle 4: Good design makes a product understandable

Issue 5: The Design is obstructive to use


A smooth flow of experience to use a product is one of the main keys to create a good digital product design. You know that experience when you begin to use a product and expected it to work in a certain way but it didn’t? 😞 For example, the unclickable button on the website, the search bar that could not identify the item you are searching for, or the unnecessary pop-up when you want to click the button behind the pop-up 😤 . A design that is obstructive tends to turn off customer experience to use the product instantly. Tie your customer interest by designing an effortless user-friendly product.

Principle 5: Good design is unobstructed


Issue 6: The Design is over claimed which deceives users



When you created products and over-claimed them; the-over-the-top-functions, etc. The sense of betrayal is similar to using a weight loss product that claims you will gain six packs in 2 weeks after consuming high sugar vanilla chocolate liquid sachets. Be honest with your product, if you underestimate the quality of your product design, that means you are not confident with the product you have created. Why create a product that you do not trust in the first place? Create something that you trust is able to help others and describe the product strength as it is, stay away from overclaiming.

Principle 6: Good design is honest

Issue 7: The Design is short-lasting and quickly replaceable


Creating a design that is short-lasting might not be the best idea as this will shorten the user's interest to use your product. This is not food that we are talking about, where we eat, experiencing a short excitement of foodgasm and done, bring the satisfy belly home. Invent a digital product that could be in the market for a longer time, and support the users from generation to generation. 

Principle 7: Good design is long-lasting



Issue 8: The Design does not plan thoroughly, which will  lead to poor end results and disappoints the user



Pay attention to the elements in your design, the line weight, the spaces, the colors. Do they emphasize the meaning of your product and contribute to the functionality of your product? Get your family and friends to test your product and gather their feedback. Sometimes the combination of the little details plays a big role in making your products work. You might be surprised by the number of errors that you never thought would occur during the process of testing and developing. 

Your attention towards the product details shows your respect towards your users, and they will feel appreciated.

Principle 8: Good design is thorough to the last details




Principle 9: Good design is environmentally friendly. We are skipping this principle as the content for this blog is focusing on digital product design.

A short PSA: Empty your laptop/desktop bin regularly 😉🗑️, your digital gadgets need a digital junk-free environment too!


Issue 10: The Design is focusing on the non-essentials elements and shifts the focus away from the essential elements in your design.



In digital product designing, perhaps less is indeed more. Avoid focusing on emphasizing the non-essential elements on your product as this will defeat the purpose of the invention of your product. Highlight the essential elements of your product that will improve and support the user customer experience . Aim for simplicity and keep away from ambiguity.


Principle 10: Good design is as little design as possible. 


Want to know more about the latest digital product design principles? Head over to the ADPlist website and book a session with our mentor.