What are the worst user interface designs?

MA Marilyngonzales19 asked on 31 December 2018, 18:50
2 answers / 881 views / 1 votes

The worst?

Reddit has one of the worst interfaces ever but still has insane amounts of traffic. 

I've heard from some people that Wikipedia's UI is pretty bad.

I think Quora's UI is bad as well. 

So I guess this brings up the question of how important design is for products. Reddit & Wikipedia are hugely successful because they are unique in the type of content that is available on them - people are forced to use them because they have no other alternative.


Without a doubt, the QWERTY keyboard. It looks like someone came home drunk one night, knocked over a scrabble board and then tried to rearrange the letters in the dark.

A couple of sobering facts:

  • It was originally designed to slow typists down (to stop letter-arm jams on typewriters), not to speed them up.
  • It takes most people weeks (if you're awesome), months (if you're above average) or even years (if you're like most people) to master.
  • Most people require dozens of lessons and hundreds of hours of dedicated practise to master.
  • There are no shortcuts - just practise, practise, practise.
  • There are no exceptions - every single user must go through the same arduous learning curve.
  • The majority of people on the planet have yet to master it. Think of all the folks in Africa, Asia and Latin America, who've grown up without PCs/laptops/blackberries. World Bank puts the estimate at around 5 billion!
  • There are no global standards - if you've ever tried to use a French, German, Hungarian or other keyboard, you'll know what I mean.
  • The error rate is horrendous - even the most competent typists still routinely make frequent mistakes.
  • On a touchscreen it's a nightmare - let's face it, keyboards were originally designed to sit on a desk and be operated with 2 hands and 10 fingers. Who uses a smartphone/tablet like that?
  • The 3 most common letters (E, T & A) are all on the left side (with the A operated by the left pinky - our least dextrous finger - right next a great, big, fat CAPS LOCK key). The next most common letters (O, I & N) are all on the right hand side. This makes one-handed typing - as is often required on a smartphone or tablet - a usability train wreck.