Analyzing poorly designed interfaces alongside counter examples of successful design can be incredibly fun. All the while, it draws important lessons for designers of various levels. The fact remains that good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible, serving us without drawing attention to itself. Bad design, on the other hand, screams out its inadequacies, making itself very noticeable. Good Design is easy to use and beautiful. While bad designs are too clustered and unattractive.
Anyone who has taken a car for repair recognizes the difference between a good mechanic and a bad mechanic. A good mechanic diagnoses your problem in a timely manner, fixes what’s broken at a fair price, and makes repairs that last. A bad mechanic fails to find the real problem, masks the symptoms with expensive solutions that don’t last, and charges too much money for needless repairs. Engineers are a bit like auto mechanics in this respect. The world is full of both good engineers and bad engineers. Just because an engineer has produced something does not mean that the product has been designed well. Just because the design works initially doesn’t mean that the product will last over time. Although the criteria by which a product is judged varies with the nature of the product, the success of most design efforts can be judged
Distinguishing factors noted in Good Design or Bad Design
1. Good design always Meets all technical requirements while bad design Meets only some technical requirements
2. Good design Meets cost requirements while bad design Costs more than it should
3. Good design Requires little or no maintenance while bad design Requires frequent maintenance
4. Good design is safe and is easy to operate while bad design poses a hazard to users.
Sometimes, the clients are responsible for either the good or bad designs, for instance a client comes with their already mapped out plan or "perfect picture of what they need" as a designer you always know what’s right but the client wants what he wants and so you can’t go against their "perfect picture" and this turns out to be either good or bad design, I’d give us some critical criteria or points to watch out for in a design that either makes the design good or bad.
- Does the Product Meet Technical Requirements?
It might seem a simple matter to decide whether or not a catapult meets its technical target. But success can be judged in many ways. A well-designed catapult will accommodate a wide range of stone weights, textures, and sizes. It will require the efforts of only one or two people to operate, and will repeatedly hit its target, even in strong wind or rain. A poorly designed catapult may meet its launch specification under ideal conditions, but it may accommodate stones of only a single weight or require that only smooth, hard-to-find stones be used.. When the arm of a poorly designed catapult is released, it may hit its own support structure, causing the stone to lose momentum and fall short of the target. The catapult might work fine for the first few launches, only to fail at a later time.
- Does the Product Work?
During the development stage, a product doesn’t need to be “bug-free" the very first time it is tested. However, it must work perfectly before it can be delivered to the customer. It must be durable and not fail after only a short time in the field. The catapult provides an excellent example of this second criteria. Even a bad designer could produce a catapult capable of meeting its specifications upon initial delivery. The Apex Corporation could make the catapult from whatever local timbers were available. It might use a simple trigger mechanism made from vines and twigs. The bad designer would build the catapult as he went along, adding new features on top of old ones without examining how each feature interacted with those before it. The catapult would likely pass inspection upon delivery and be able to hurl stones several times before fraying a line, cracking a timber, or breaking its trigger mechanism. After a short period of use, however, the ill-designed timbers of its launch arm might weaken, causing the projectile to fall short of its target.
- Does the Product Meet Cost Requirements?
Some design problems can be approached without regard to cost, but in most cases, cost is a major factor in making design decisions. A catapult made from cheap local wood will be much less expensive than one requiring stronger, imported wood. Painting the catapult will make it visually more attractive but will not enhance performance. Will the customer want an attractive piece of machinery at a higher price? An engineer must face questions such as these in just about every design situation.
- Will the Product Require Extensive Maintenance?
A durable product will provide many years of flawless service. Durability is something that must be planned for as part of the design process, even when the cost of the final product is important. At each step, the designer must decide whether cutting corners to save money or time will lead to component failure later on. A good designer will eliminate as many latent weaknesses as possible. A bad designer will ignore them as long as the product can pass its initial inspection tests. If the Apex Catapult Corporation wishes to make a long-lasting product worthy of its company name, then it will design durability into its catapult from the very beginning of the design process.
- Is the Product Safe?
Safety is a quality measured only in relative terms. No product can be made completely hazard free, so when we say that a product is “safe,” we mean that it has a significantly smaller probability of causing injury than does a product that is “unsafe.” Assigning a safety value to a product is one of the harder aspects of engineering design, because adding safety features usually requires adding cost. Also, accidents are subject to chance, and it can be difficult to identify a potential hazard until an accident occurs. An unsafe product may never cause harm to any one user, while statistically, some fraction of a large group of users is likely to sustain injury. The catapult provides an example of the trade-off between safety versus cusers.
Conclusively, as a client you need a client who'd put the quality of your design first, and as a developing designer choose a Good Designer to Be Your Mentor. There is a difference between good designers and bad designers. Practicing engineers of both types can be found in the engineering profession, and it's up to you to learn to distinguish between the two. As you make the transition from student to professional engineer, you are likely to seek a mentor at some point in your career. Be certain that the individual you choose follows good design practices. Most importantly nothing good comes easily and free from cost, spend the money to learn and improve yourself on your trade, that's mostly the issue with designers, they just want to have everything free and not spend, you could never grow on free mode