Let Bad Work Worry About Itself
Bad design has and always will exist.
As sure as the sun will rise, bad work will abound — not just in design; in everything. From film to food to music.
We know what’s bad partially because we know what’s good.
There’s a tendency to hyperbolically assess an entire generation of work based on what we deem as the status quo. As if the work we’re seeing is the penultimate nail in the coffin of all that is and will be created.
But Dribbble isn’t a summation of the Design world. Behance isn’t the all-encompassing compendium of all things Design. Whatever new tools or networks 2016 brings us won’t be either.
Is there bad work out there? You better believe it. Will there continue to be bad work? Undoubtedly and without question.
And it’s not just in design:
We’re in a new golden age of television. Streaming has supplied us essentially a new medium of instantly accessible content. Companies like Netflix are pioneering this new frontier with a wholly new calibre of consumable television content that rivals that of blockbuster film. Shows like Breaking Bad, Fargo, and the like are changing television from a medium actors transition out of to one that actors are continually involved in.
But with all of this revivalist energy, we’ll always have Keeping Up with the Kardashians. For every True Detective Season 1, there’s sure to be a True Detective Season 2 out there somewhere.
Popular culture has and always will devour mediocre content. It’s unlikely that that’s going to change any time soon.
What has changed is bigger, better distribution models for craftsmanship. What is new is network television like NBC taking a chance on a show like Hannibal — met with high critical reviews, but low viewership numbers.
No matter what the platform looks like, there’s going to be a place for good work. Even if it means that we have to be the ones to make it. Maybe it won’t be as big or as potent as we’d like, but it doesn’t make it any less valuable.
Bad design exists.
Get over it.
In fact, we make it too sometimes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But we can probably stop pretending that, as a scapegoat, it holds any real weight on the quality of work we’re seeking to create.
You won’t squash out all of the bad design work by staying up at night worrying about or ranting about on social media. You can’t distress it out of existence any more than your Yelp review can create a world without McDonald’s.
What we can do is work better, smarter, and take more risks. We can highlight work that deserves to be brought into the light and encourage those that work with us.
Or, you know, decide to do something about it and mentor someone?
Let’s stop worry about the future of Design and work harder towards putting out and sharing the kind of work we’d be proud of.