Taking a Step Back to Laugh [link]

Designing stuff is hard.

Web design is mostly about problem solving (e.g. how to balance the needs of two audiences, how to make a design that fits multiple screen sizes, how to make a user stay engaged with the content) but also includes a good dose of creativity and hard-to-explain amorphous ideas like “feel” too. A good design project is gratifying and exciting, but there are plenty of ways it can go wrong.

With creativity and big ideas often come strong emotions that can take a design down a pretty bad road. What’s more, designers have a large vocabulary of technical terms to describe colors, layouts, fonts, and more but usually have to communicate and elicit requests and feedback from clients who don’t. Mistakes will be made. Communications will be misunderstood. So it’s important to laugh it off sometimes!

Here are two old but still very funny pieces about the ways that designs can go wrong. If I’ve shared these with you before, I apologize, but not really since they’re funny enough to enjoy many times over.

Web Design Gone Wrong

The popular The Oatmeal web comic is written by a former web designer who clearly has lots of stories about client requests. Here’s one:

Client: "I've looped my mother into this conversation. She designed a bake sale flyer back in 1982, so you could say she has an 'eye' for design." Mom: "The design you put together needs some brighter colors, it's too gloomy. Perhaps a little pink? Throw in a kitten, too. EVERYONE LOVES KITTENS!"
© TheOatmeal.com

Read “How a Web Design Goes Straight to Hell” on The Oatmeal.

As you might guess from the title of the comic, The Oatmeal can contain some strong language and also has an unfortunate tendency toward fat shaming. This comic is fairly tame though.

Lost Cat? More Like Lost Design.

This one’s even older and, if you ask me, funnier. A person loses their cat and asks a designer for a “Lost Cat” poster. What could possibly go wrong?

"Missing Missy" movie poster
© 27bslash6.com

yeah thats not what I was looking for at all. it looks like a movie and how come the photo of Missy is so small?


Dear Shannon,
It’s a design thing. The cat is lost in the negative space.

Read “yeah thats not what I was looking for at all” on 27bslash6.com.

Again, a warning for mildly strong language and a picture of someone raising their middle finger.

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