Visual Design-The good and not so good

Following is a list of a five websites/apps ,first three of which I think are well designed and the remaining,poorly designed. For each of them I’ll back my opinion with suitable reasons.

Good design: www.imdb.com

As a frequent user of this site, I’ve never come across any difficulty in navigation. Why? Because it allows me to complete the task I intend to do in a seamless fashion while also maintaining an aesthetic feel throughout.

  1. Noticeable search bar at the top , considering this is the most frequently used functionality of the site.
  2. Login button in the navigation bar.
  3. Difference in intensity and color for the sidebar. Doesn’t grab unnecessary attention while maintaining important links in navigation.
  4. Predictive text. Again,the most used functional aspect of the site.
  5. Slight yellow highlight on the cursored tab indicating direction.

Good Design: Memrise app

I love the simplicity of this app. The UI helps seamlessly navigate through tasks and applies a calm texture throughout the process.

  1. Navigation bar. Pleasing color combination.
  2. Overview of the task.
  3. Main tab. Clickable feel.
  4. Pleasing background.
  5. Well arranged tiles.
  6. Highlighting the main content.
  7. Evident text to speech symbol.
  8. Additional help.
  9. Rounded rectangle. Applies a calm effect.

Good Design: WhatsApp

The tab of this app is active on almost every live smartphone. Due to the sheer simplicity of the app , I think its design is underrated by most.

  1. Simple Green nav bar giving it a nice feel and also highlighting the main features.
  2. Subtle lines blending with the background and providing an indicator for a separate chat tile.
  3. Main space utilised for chat which is the main purpose of the app.
  4. Rounded rectangle message box which actually depicts a physical representation of a message.

Bad Design: https://www.irctc.co.in/

This is the official website to book intercity train tickets in India. The design of the website is haphazard and no clear clues to complete the main task are depicted through a first glance .

  1. Too many elements in a single nav bar makes it confusing. Do not understand the random blue highlighted text on some tabs.
  2. Alerts tab seems unnecessary in the main page since a view all option is present anyway.
  3. Login details aren’t prominent and the spacing and color between the captcha instructions and the code itself seems visually fatiguing.
  4. Login button floating at a random spot. Again,lack of alignment makes for a visually displeasing effect.
  5. Almost missed the AppStore button. Positioning again at a random spot and the color of the button overlaps the background thus making it an unnecessary visual effort in order to find it.

One could pick more visual design errors mainly due to poor alignment and displeasing color combinations and text. These errors aren’t even at the cost of functionality since the main purpose of the site isn’t defined in the home page.

Bad Design: http://www.rediff.com/

Rediff.com is an Indian news, information, entertainment and shopping web portal. The site doesn’t give a visually pleasing experience at first glance.

  1. What is this tab? Between the nav bar and logo. Amateurish illustration.
  2. No separation between tabs. Dull color combination.
  3. Sign in link not prominent. Poor aesthetic appeal compared to a button.
  4. Tiles not ordered . Disordered positioning and alignment are visually fatiguing.

In terms of functionality this site is superior to the previous example but a few visual design changes would improve it further.

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