Laura Kalbag

Bathcamp plea for bad designs by developers

I’ve got a talk for Bathcamp 2010 in the works! Thanks to the ever-helpful Rich Quick for the idea, I’m going to do a talk on Design Tips for Developers.

However, alongside a bit of time, effort and available slot on the day, this is subject to some help from a kind developer. I’m looking for a bad design created by a developer to use as a case study.

I need a design by a developer

What I need

A single page design (can be part of a larger site) that was designed by a developer. It doesn’t have to be flashing-gif awful, but in need of some love and care. You know the phrase “looks like it was designed by a developer.” Something that looks like that!

What I’m going to do with it

The plan is I’ll do a quick run-through of some easy-to-use tips, and then we can work together on improving an existing design using those tips. If the page is already in HTML and CSS, then I’ll toy with the idea of doing it live. If it’s not (or if I’m feeling doubtful about my live-typing abilities) then I’ll just pre-prepare some changes to the design that illustrate the points.

What you (as the generous donator of the design) will get

What you (as the generous donator of the design) won’t get

Willing to help?

E-mail me at, tweet me @laurakalbag or leave a comment below.

If more than one design is volunteered, I will choose the best (that can be most improved using the tips) and possibly use more than one if there’s some good ‘uns and I have the time. ## 8 comments

  1. iamdanw
    @laurakalbag oh dear. I'm tempted but also terrified..
    • @iamdanw I’m intending on being 100% kind and 0% mean, if that helps. Constructive criticism only!
    • bobbyshaw
      @laurakalbag does my site count :P
      • @bobbyshaw I don’t think your site is bad!
      • russbuelt
        @laurakalbag check [](" rel="nofollow) –; done by devs ;)
      • ronaldpoi
        @laurakalbag Take a look at this one. Is it bad enough? [](" rel="nofollow)
      • You're welcome to use [](" rel="nofollow). It's a hack I built at Chirp. It takes tweets and lets you print them inside fortune cookies that then get shipped to you for eating. The design is awful and the app itself is incomplete (there are plenty of places in SF that do custom fortune cookies, not so much in the UK).
      • dansketchpad
        @laurakalbag another point when developers design is less than helpful error messages eg. Form fields –; “No illegal characters!”… aarrg