Bad design SUCKS. Even more, when it's from the Big Guys...


So, I may have become a bit Insane.

Maybe, Steve Jobs' ghost haunts me.

Maybe his soul has entered my head.

Maybe I have just become obsessed by him.

Everything I see; specifically on any 'i' device - be it an iPad, or an iPhone, makes me go into the neutron of its design and figure out if it's exactly the way "I would like it"?

It really hurts my eyes, my sensibilities and my heart when the biggest brands in the world do a shabby job in the holy world of 'i' art.

It signals to me that these brands don't respect the 'i' universe. They don't 'get it'.

Don't the managers who put out this stuff use iApps themselves?

Well, even the biggest and the brightest sometimes need to be taught some good manners...

So, let me serve you some not so great stuff from some very very great brands!

Facebook - terrible notification design in mobile messages :-(

Check out the pokey, horrible 'spear' that appears in the notification tab:

It hurts, doesn't it??

These are the Games2win Art team's suggestions!!

Option 1 - A slightly milder, integrated 'poke'?

Option 2 - Why 'poke' at all?!

Option 3 - Blended, synced tab

Option 4- Pokey, pokey but not so hurty hurty..

And one last one!


Facebook, can you please get your act together and delight your presence on the 'i' platform a bit more?

2. Google's horrible, small, squashed 'Chrome' logo on iTunes :-(

Check out the wow Instagram app icon, the beautiful native Apple app icons and then the squashed, compressed, squeezed Chrome app - set in a black/grey background?


Google, why have such a beautiful logo 'coffined' in a black box?

We at Games2win couldn't hold back and decided to give the Chrome thumbnail a run for its money!!

Check out the options we created:

Google, you may not concur, but please peep beyond the Android mayhem. There is some beauty in the world... 


3. The Economist - 'Tar' black balls as paginators on the iPad app

I swear by The Economist. I live by The Economist. Probably I will die with a copy of The Economist by my side.

But when I see these dark, ugly, 'tar' like droplets on the iPad pages (intended to mark page numbers), I throw up :-(

My attention is focussed on these terrifically ugly 'tarlets' rather than the article I am reading :-(

The Economist - I have some options to present to you, your highness!

Option 1 - Balls all right, but softer, red ones?!

How about an Option 2 - dashes! use 'em!

Check out this option - dash with panache!

Hmmmm, a final one - grey, dull, balls. 

The Economist - please give your design a re-look? Please?

Great design is not great art or great science. It's a lethal combination of both. And no one gets it. It's subjective, objective and very very personal.

Having said so, apps are what make the world go round, and if you are going to be in the business of delighting people, then you better start paying attention to what you put out there for people like me to tap on.

If it's bad, then that tap just might get missed or skipped.


Major, major thanks to:

- Purtata Lew - Art Head of Games2win
- Sumesh Pillai - Art lead at Games2win
- Amol Medarkar - Illustrator at Games2win!

Tip - Don't try hiring these folks. They love the torture I give them at Games2win


I will send this blog to some senior folks known to me at Facebook, Google and The Economist. Let's see if they have something to say!


Finally - what do YOU think? Comment and let us all know!!


Important note (posted later)

This is a post written by Alok Kejriwal in his personal capacity and not as the CEO of games2win (g2w). In his capacity as CEO of games2win, Alok and the Company acknowledge that g2w is NOT at all the gold standard for Art, UI or UX!

In fact in may of the g2w Company blogs, Alok has personally cried out loud about the terrible art that the Company (g2w) has and its attempt to improve it!

This is a humble, harmless post written by someone obsessed by detail and design and who is personally trying to improve what he may see. This is NOT a chest thump to claim that 'we know it all'. In fact, we know nothing!!


Feedback received so far:


Check out some of the responses / reactions to this!

August 3, 2012 at 8:20pm

Hi Alok,

'I love getting feedback from our loyal customers, especially if they are armed with suggestions, which you clearly are. My team shares your view on the pagination balls. They were not always big balls of tar. Unfortunately the pagination balls began rendering differently after iOS 5.0 was released. Luckily, our next major update will include an update to the pagination graphics. It will either revert back to our old style or will possibly be a new design based on your suggestions, which I have passed along to our designers. Many thanks for you interest and your time. If you have any other ideas please feel free to contact me directly.'
kindest regards,
Neelay Patel
Vice President
Commercial Strategy & Product
Economist Digital
30th august - 2012
hahah!!! Check out the changed Chrome App thumbnails!!!!




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God is in Details....
Good Points and Great Efforts by your team.

Reminds me of Steve Jobs calling Google's Vic Gundotra, because he didn't like the Google Icon on the iPhone and had a Solution Already in Place for him.

Well pointed out details and better renditions - design is a personal and subjective choice ( as mentioned) but it always shows when there has been deep delving into the minutest of the details -- as usually is with apple.

Just a small grammar-nazi kind of point, it should be Jobs' (Possessive of Jobs, Steve Jobs)

thanks for pointing the typo out brijesht - i was sitting at the g2w office for the first time in my life while cleaning up this piece and was kinda overwhelmed :))))))))))) 

shall correct asap!

Good Points made for FB, but for Google chrome not agree, the original one looks good rather than the new suggestions by your team,

I totally agree with you.

Design is the last thing I would consider spending time on. A regular drinker of Black Label whisky won't really care on how the bottle looks... Its the brand. Be best at what you are giving and things like design will matter least. Look at sites like Craigslist and Reddit... poor/no design whatsoever but still they are used by millions.

It matters to the creator and subsequently when the consumer sees the detailing (if at all they do), to them as well. Needless to say, the functionality has to be there, you can't sell a dysfunctional, beautiful product.

As for craigslist, reddit - i really don't think the point here is that to be used by millions, you need excellent design - point is it can be made better.

Every small detail tells a story & gets you to that 'wow, they thought about that too' - it's kind of vague, inexplainable and hard to reason out how that matters (read - how is it going to get your business more money)

To me, it does really matter, perhaps yes, the last thing to do - but I guess all the above suggestions (though I really don't agree with the economist one) are something that can be worked upon and made better.

I read a blog in HBR which tells the first wave of entrepreneurs was a technical person plus a business person. But second (current) wave is a developer plus a designer. When u see companies like IDEO, design makes u say WOW. I also feel FB app needs a complete overhaul, design and backed both. But design makes good tech awesome.

I actually like the original designs better in all the above cases. The only two sensible designs from G2W team are 'Option 3' for 'Chrome' and 'Option 4' for 'The Economist'

All three are popular and great products despite these UI chinks.

Having said that, the Google icon changes will make the most difference.

Agreed .. bad design sucks.

But seriously, have you ever looked critically at g2w apps?

Have attached a sample pic, why would parking frenzy not allow touch gestures but force me to use some shitty control?

I remember another horrific kill osama game from g2w  .. hope you remember too ..

I mean wouldn't it be better use of your and g2w design team's time to work on your own apps first before telling the world how other people's design sucks?

I also seriously hope that when you say design you mean user experience design and not just fancy UI design (colors and fonts).


My point exactly - despite the design 'flaws' you point out, players loved the experience of both games.

Going by the examples Alok prepared, I'm pretty sure it's more UI than UX / design.


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