Chapter 11. Anti-Patterns

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Novel Notions, Needless Complexity, Metaphor Mismatch, Idiot Boxes, Chart Junk, Oceans of Buttons

What are anti-patterns? Wikipedia says:

Anti-patterns, also called pitfalls, are classes of commonly reinvented bad solutions to problems. They are studied as a category so they can be avoided in the future, and so instances of them may be recognized when investigating non-working systems. The term originates in computer science, apparently inspired by the Gang of Four’s book Design Patterns, which displayed examples of high-quality programming methods.

Like their computer science counterparts, the following design anti-patterns are common pitfalls to avoid. Since each reinvention adds its own wretched novelty, I can’t provide generic anti-pattern diagrams, so let’s just dive right in.

Novel Notions

New designers try out novel design ideas to be edgy, creative, and innovative. But most of the time the designs are just bad, hard to understand and harder to use. And sometimes anti-patterns result from laziness or habit. According to usability gadfly Richard Gunther, “You can usually tell when a mobile app development team comes from an old web development background. They often attempt to translate old user interaction models to the new platform and assert their ‘creativity’ by introducing nonstandard UI elements.”

Novel Notions can be found ...

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