Why Overdesigning is a Cardinal Sin of Design

[responsive]overdesign[/responsive]According to the latest Adobe New Creatives Report,  over-designing or not knowing when to quit was considered the “cardinal sin” of design, writes Gian Bautista in Youth Designer blog.

“This is based on an online survey of more than 1,000 U.S. creative professionals. These professionals, whether employed, self-employed or freelancers, work in a creative industry (graphic designers, web designers, photographers, illustrator, et cetera),” Bautista notes.

And while Bautista asserts that most of what they discovered in the survey only confirmed what well-trained designers already know, it’s important to reiterate these truths in the digital age.

So what ranks as verboten?

Distracting motion graphics, bad typography and a lack of negative space all were cited as big issues, as were using bad stock photography, generic design thanks to crowd sourcing, and a lack of a cohesive look across platforms. And while amateurish video production got a number of votes as the worst offender, using trends to solve design problems, whether they do or don’t resolve the actual issue, was the second highest sin mentioned.

And the winner, with almost one in four designers calling it out, is over-designing.

“You don’t need to put a handful of elements in your design as long as you were able to communicate your idea. Stick to the purpose and the concept. Putting too many shapes, details and effects won’t matter if they take away the message for your audience,” advised Bautista.

Bells and whistles don’t do much for you if they obscure your message and your call to action, so think less is more when approach your design. You’ll be a better designer for it.