50 Shades of #F5F5F5: A moderately inappropriate look at stupid things designers do (medium.com)
over 6 years ago from Jon Moore, Product Designer
over 6 years ago from Jon Moore, Product Designer
What a pile of random shit
Disjointed for sure, but I like a little chaos sometimes. Thanks for reading!
What a productive critique
I can understand it ruffling some feathers, but comments like this don't really do much. It's kind of on the same level as a "This is ugly" design critique. Vacuous.
Your post has some spot-on points - some contradictions and some that feel a little bit too harsh, but hey, we're only human and all entitled to our own opinion!
But this comment (and others) go against Designer News' one rule - "be nice, or else". We're not forced to read and comment - so maybe next time, just cmd+w that tab?
Thanks for the thoughts Jon.
Thanks for your comments, Trevor! Humor and sarcasm are tough to convey in a Medium article, so I agree that some of them may have come across a little more abrasive than intended :)
Thanks for reading!
In case I wasn't clear (which I probably wasn't), I was replying to the "what a pile of shit" comment. I shared your article with my team and we all had a great laugh! It was brilliant. Thanks for the points.
I got what you meant, no worries! Really glad you enjoyed it!
What a useless comment.
Am I the only one who absolutely loves this article? You can tell the author speaks from experience working with real applications, not stand-alone Dribbble shots or one-off marketing splash pages. It's nice to get a reminder every now and then that our designs need to be usable, and maintainable once they're built into applications that are in production for years and worked on by dozens of developers.
Ha, thanks Matt. It's hard not to get defensive about things I write, so if it resonates with at least someone, then I'll consider it a success. I'm not Jony Ive, but I have worked with tons of clients in every industry and these are just the things I've learned along the way. They work for me, so I suppose that's all that matters, right?
Thanks for dropping in :)
I really like the article as well. The author seems to put emphasis on design accomplishing specific goals, not trying to be trendy or cool. They can both happen, but not all the time.
No you are not. I love how is a sharp critique to us all as designers (including himself).
Design community is becoming so politically correct that I find this reads so refreshing.
I this meant to be funny or useful?
Because it's neither.
There are a few useful (but fairly well known) tips in there, but packaged up like this and delivered in such a dogmatic style makes at all a bit meh.
Could you provide a little better critique for what would have improved this for you? Serious request, not trying to be snarky. The article was meant to be lighthearted and disjointed and stream-of-consciousness, and it seems people are really taking it personally. I'm only speaking from my personal experiences and what has worked for me.
7. Your design isn’t an art piece. Look, I know that YOU are a unique flower. But your design is a tool that someone is using to accomplish a task. Ain’t nobody streamlining their digital marketing workflow with a Rembrandt or Jackson Pollock. That doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful! It should be! Just don’t get yourself caught in the pixel weeds and end up losing site of the ultimate value of the product. Make it visual, but make it valuable.
18. Every misplaced pixel is like a typo in a novel. Take pride in the presentation and layout. Every single pixel will be scrutinized more than your tour bus locker room talk.
Sounds like 7 is talking about making it pretty / artsy / trendy, while the other is more about it properly accomplishing a specific task. Don't worry about your pixels being pretty, worry about your pixels being performant.
I don't understand the negativity. There are 40 points and people seem to be pretty butthurt about a couple of them. Most of them, however, are spot-on. For example, it's hard for me to see the text as I'm typing this comment because such the text is such a light grey.
So... should I stop wearing jogger pants?
& thanks for the tips!
Absolutely not. How else will Urban Outfitters stay in business?
(PS. I own several pairs. No shame!)
What the fuck was that?
Constructive feedback (I hope): I was confused at first because I wasn't sure if there were layers of irony to peel back. Sometimes posts like this have the format "Myth about what not to do Ironic elaboration on the myth"; sometimes it's "Myth But here's what you should really do." It took me three or four rereads of the first few items to decide you'd intended it to be "Really do this No seriously, really do this, it's a good idea." I'm not sure what led me down that weird path -- maybe the "stupid things designers do" in the title made me assume it would be a list of stupid things.
Anyway, I'm not 100% sure I ever quite got on your wavelength. What I read was entertaining, though.
I really don't understand the hate. Being a junior designer, and having been through a lot of what was mentioned, made me laugh and sympathize with most of this. I'm just happy I'm not alone in my opinions. :D
I loved the writing style. Made me giggle. :)
Been a big week for opinions on the internet from designers, hasn't it?
I read this in a pretty lighthearted manner (which I think was the intent) and I found it enjoyable if not obvious.
I think some people in the Designer News community need to lighten up a little bit. Thanks for the fun article Jon!
Hell, I even got a little weird with React.js one time after a party.
This made me laugh.
But seriously, #4 hits home. Just shipped a design the other day where I thought afterwards, “I wonder if users will be able to read this on their non-5K 27" iMacs?”
Ha, no kidding!
These monitors, man. I love to assume that users have a retina display at full brightness :P If only that were the case, haha
Thanks for reading and chiming in!
But, but there were just 40 Shades...
"Every misplaced pixel is like a typo in a novel" contradicts a lot of earlier points of "not caring about symmetry or aesthetics" and I do absolutely disagree with any sentiment that good design cannot be art whenever I read them. It's like saying a film should only be about delivering information rather than aesthetics, and therefore can't be art either.
"Mila Kunis doesn’t use your marketing app." This really is my favorite point, and deserves its own essay.
It is a bit contradictory, but I wanted to make that point too, so I broke my own rule :) You caught me!
I completely agree! I definitely could have stated it better; I was attempting a commentary on how some designers (me included!) get overly caught up in the pixel weeds and end up losing sight of user/business goals and interaction principles. I never want to present a design that I don't feel confident about both in both visuals and value. I just know how many potential distractions there are along the way :) I'll make sure that edit makes it into the article!
I'm glad you enjoyed that. I shake my head every time I see a Dribbble shot with celebrities, or an email conversation with Steve Jobs.
I also disagree with the sentiment that good design cannot be art, but I think the author is trying to point out when a designer opts for the latter in the cost of the former. Design should solve real problems with practical solutions. Art is beautiful and expressive. Can it be both? Absolutely, but not necessarily all the time, and not usually if you are inexperienced. Solving the problem is essential, making it sexy is secondary (unless it's like, a website for a lingerie company? I don't know).
You got it. It's absolutely a balance, but I would always tend to lean toward value. Thanks for your thoughts, Jordie!
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