GUY KAWASAKI: The 4 Design Mistakes I Hate Most

Guy Kawasaki, known for both his job as Apple’s chief evangelist and his now vast social media presence, is now working on talking up Australian design startup Canva.

Kawasaki is in Sydney this week, and we asked him about the design errors he hates to see most.

1. Lack of white space

Kawasaki is a self-described minimalist. So when it comes to design simple is usually better.

“I like white space,” he said.

2. Too many icons

Words are OK.

The design trend of using icons instead of words has gotten out of control, Kawasaki said.

“Maybe the world has embraced Apple’s sentiment too much. Everything is an icon,” he said.

“If you have to sit there and figure out what the icon means, it defeats the purpose.”

Using the example of the ‘hamburger button, the gear button and the three dots button, all of which mean more or settings, he said it’s just not necessary.

“You could just put the word more or you could put the word settings.”

3. Doubling up

Duplicating stuff on websites creates confusion.

He said giving a user the same option multiple times on the same page is distracting.

“What’s different about those two buttons that they’re on the same page? I hate that,” Kawasaki said.

“I want the least complex design that is efficient.”

4. Lack of focus

Landing on a website and not knowing where to go or what to click on is the result, usually of poor design, Kawasaki said.

“It should be very obvious what the designer wants your eye to focus on,” Kawasaki said.

“If you go to a webpage and nothing is clearly the dominant element, that is very poor design.”

He added it should be obvious what you want the user to click on and giving 12 different options, for example, is bad design.

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