7 Epic Design Fails & Solutions for Design Wins!

Fail: Spaces should not have everything matching exactly.

Solution: Design spaces to coordinate, not to match everything.

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When designing, it is better to have spaces flow from one to the next, and try to stay away from being to “matchy matchy”. A space is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye when designs, patterns and details complement each other and not match each other.

Fail: Not taking the entire experience of the customer into consideration.

Solution: Constantly design around the customer, not the building

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Whether this is a temporary fix or not, designers have to constantly think about how their decisions and designs will affect customers. It extends beyond taking customers into consideration, it requires designers placing themselves into the design experience as a customer.

Fail: Missing the correct application of materials.

Solution: Designers must take into account the usability of materials and the application of those materials.

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When materials are being selected for spaces, designers must take into account the where and the how. Where is that material being installed? How does that material need to be installed and how is that material going to perform?

Fail: Not thinking through both function and form.

Solution: Designers must take into account the possible dangers or disadvantages of their designs.

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Designing requires more than just good design, but applying the good design to real world application. Spaces and products must be designed around every age group and every function.

Fail: Not taking the laws into account.

Solution: Designing with the laws and not around the laws.

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ADA compliance laws are not something to mess with. There should always be an explanation of compliance decisions. Whether it is the GC’s decision, the subcontractor’s decision, the architect’s decision or the owner’s decision, it will typically fall to the responsibility of the owner when they are brought to court for failure to meet ADA compliance.

Fail: Not conveying the right branding message

Solution: Branding messages have to be constantly revaluated in every application.

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A company’s branding and marketing graphics on paper is always different than environmental graphics. Inexperience in environmental graphics can easily have epic failures if the application of your branding is not designed with the entire application in mind.

Fail: Not thinking through the big picture

Solution: Designers must be able to step back from the details and look at the big picture.

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Although the parts and pieces all work, the overall design may not work. Designers need to be able to take the detailed pieces to work together in the grand scheme of the design.