The worst design trend of 2018: Stacked, label-less navigation

App designers are always trying to stay on-trend. The problem is that sometimes these trends tend to take design backwards from a usability perspective.

The last horrible design trend (2013)

A few years back when Apple decided to change iOS icons from filled in to outlined (in iOS 7), many believed this to be a step in the wrong direction, as outlined icons increase cognitive load.

The image and quote below are from Aubrey Johnson's analysis of the change:

Take a look at the example above. The red lines indicate areas where cognitive load is occurring. Your brain traces the shapes on the first row an average of twice as much. Your eye scans the outside shape and then scans the inner line to determine if there is value in the “hollow” section.

Forcing users to spend more time to decipher an icon is never a good thing, and unfortunately, many designers have followed this trend "because Apple did it", which is a horrible justification.

The latest horrible design trend

A free UX review for Postmates

The vast majority of the hip, cool Silicon Valley-based startups have products that work decently well.

The one outlier in this category is Postmates. I have no idea what they're doing over there, but every time I try to use it - between errors, poor UX decisions and outright bugs - the whole experience is a disaster. And this is from a company that has raised over $326 million!

So in an effort to improve the internet and not just complain, here's a free UX review for Postmates:

An incredible customer experience

I spend a lot of time ranting about businesses that treat customers poorly. I have a rule on Yelp that I have to post more positive reviews than negative, and while this isn't Yelp, I figured it was time to highlight someone doing something right.

So I was in Jersey City, NJ - just across the water from Manhattan, with the French Bulldog in tow. Since I didn't exactly want to leave her for more than a few hours, I looked up doggy daycares in the area. Turns out, there was a highly-rated place not too far from where I was staying, so I took her in to check the place out. (It's rare you see a place with 5 stars on Yelp, but this is one of the few.)