For reasons known only to them, some designers make products look dirty. And that's usually not what you want.
Whether we're talking about jeans covered in brown stains or a floor brush that looks to be constantly covered in dust, these things can really play tricks on you.
But at least you can pass it on—people who have witnessed such exhibits in the wild are sharing their photos on the Internet, trying to see if they'll fool others as well.
Bored Panda collected a list of such images just for your enjoyment, so sit back, relax, and prepare to repeat "Why would someone create this?" with a judgemental chuckle for the next few minutes.
Most of these images come from one subreddit, a place dedicated entirely to trashy design. In an earlier Bored Panda interview, the moderators of the online community said that most of its 2.4 million members probably go there for entertainment.
"However, it is common to have a meaningful discussion here on why or why not something is crappy design," they pointed out that some of the members actively participate in in-depth chats.
According to researcher and author Don Norman, there are principles of good design that help people to evaluate whether a product is a boon or a bust. For instance, Norman believes all good designs are innovative and push the boundaries of what an object means to us. But it doesn't mean that an inflatable pool with a yellow mat at the bottom, making it look like it is filled with urine, is to be celebrated.
Well-designed objects also have to be useful, beautiful to look at, easy to understand, and uncluttered in how they look.
The Interaction Design Foundation explains that bad designs are overloaded with information and force the user to do more work than is necessary. Akshayta Rao writes that we all intuitively notice badly designed items but find it difficult to explain why good designs are, well, good. According to her, a well-known example of bad design would be USB cables. She’s right because we’ve all tried plugging them in the wrong way more than once. Some of us maybe even hundreds of times.
This Small Pool Has A Yellow Plastic Mat At The Bottom, Making It Look Like It Is Filled With Urine
Upon Walking In This Bathroom At The Supermarket I Was Initially Disgusted At Filth And Lack Of Cleanliness Until A Closer Look Revealed It Was Designed This Way
For one of our bad design lists, Bored Panda spoke about the principles of good design, the line between quality and bad design, as well as human beings' intuition to automatically feel what's designed well with Tim Antoniuk, an Associate Professor of Design Studies at the University of Alberta.
"The speed of change that we encounter today in our lives in the digital environment that we live in, I believe that some great design is not necessarily timeless. One example is seen in Interface Design, Ux Design, and in-service design. As new layers get added into our lives, things naturally have an evolutionary cycle. This is different from furniture which naturally can be more ubiquitous and designed to fit the human body. There is a great deal of fuzziness in this discussion but I do believe that the essence of this idea is true," Antoniuk explained.
It Looks Like The Hotel Cart Ran Someone Over And Is Tracking Their Blood Through The Halls
My Office's Cleaners Use A Yellow Product To Sanitize The Toilets. Makes It Look Like Someone Forgot To Flush
These "Designer Jeans" Look Like They're Covered In Poop Stains
In Antoniuk's opinion, there is such a thing as good and bad product, furniture, and interior design. But degrees of preference create a gray area where a clear line between quality and a lack thereof should exist. "The gray area comes in when people start to talk about taste and about degrees of aesthetic. I may love the design of Bauhaus furniture, for example, while somebody may feel that it is too cold and void of personality. Not unlike great art, I believe that much of what came from this era is ‘great design,’ in part because it represents an era and a philosophy. When we start to mix in discussions of taste and preference, that is where the gray areas of good and bad design get blurred."
This Bathroom Floor
Antoniuk also believes that people can intuitively "feel" and sense good design. "Quite often, this relates to ergonomics and the usability or functionality of the products and services and systems. Having said that, I think far too many people expect poor design that doesn’t really work well," he told Bored Panda.
Look What I Found In A Bathroom
What's more, he believes that good and bad design are skills that can be learned, especially when we start diving deep into the realm of aesthetics. "For me, great design is what Dieter [Rams] talks about—it is also intuitive, it is deeply sympathetic and empathetic to the user at all levels, and at some level, it is emotional. It is a catalyst for giving us feelings."
This Building I Found In Osaka With Marble Patterned Windows, Looks Like Someone Smeared Liquid Faeces On Them
Suzanne Labarre of Co.Design has a similar take in that she also believes that Rams’ principles could be updated. While Labarre has the IT and tech industry in mind, the principles for good design are pretty much universal, no matter if you’re designing an app, setting up a building’s interior, or creating a brand new product.
In Labarre’s opinion, good design has to be transparent, easy to understand, and done in a way that empowers its users, instead of overwhelming them. Furthermore, Labarre puts a lot of emphasis on each designer’s responsibility for what they create: they have to be aware of the possible consequences their creations might have, both on the consumers and on society.
This Keyboard Cover Is Supposed To Look Like Marble But It Just Looks Dirty
This Weird Straw That Looks Like It's Been Collecting Dirt For Three Months
For Labarre, design is inherently political. Product design (whether physical or digital) has the ability to change how power is distributed in society. This feeds back into the point about how we should all be aware of how our designs can change the world.