You’ve created the greatest design of your career. That’s a lot to be said considering you’ve been in the industry for so long. You’ve studied so hard throughout the years and made so many sacrifices in the name of design. That determination has placed you in the design seat that you sit in today, infront of this masterful work. You feel it’s your time to make your mark in design history and to start a style movement. Most designers hate when others copy their work but you realize it’s the only way to stop UI pollution.

The only question is, “How do I get my design to start a style movement”? Then a light bulb blasts over your head like Fourth of July fireworks. The answer is simple: design a flaw.

Make it Perfect

All designers have different processes for different projects. However, the one thing that never changes is the elements and principles of design. Things like color, shape, texture, rhythm, pattern, consistency, balance, etc… all play a vital role in how great the design truly is.  It’s the fluid formula to a successful design.

Design a Flaw

What if we were to take that perfect design and take away one of those elements and principles? Now I’m not talking about slapping a big pink blog in the middle of a blue design. I’m talking about taking away a simple thing like color meaning in a design.  What if we simply used no meaning of color? The design would still be flawless but the usage of color might be questionable to some. Thus leaving a flaw in the design.

Now what does this say to other designers? This screams fix me. If you have a large enough platform like say, a globally used operating system, and apply this method of single flaw design, others will follow and perfect it.

This sounds kinda crazy right? It’s really not when you think about it. Keep reading your mind is about to be blown.


For example purposes let’s take the most widely used operating system on the planet, Microsoft Windows. Then let’s look at their latest operating system, Windows 8.

Windows 8

When you first look at the screenshot you notice “wow” this is a really nice design. They clearly have used a grid layout to align everything. There is a nice usage of icons to distinguish the different windows or panels. The colors pop as they contrast one another quite well. But wait a minute? Why is Messaging and Maps the same color? The same thing with Store and Games. I understand why Internet Explorer is the specific light blue because that’s the color identity of Internet Explorer. It almost looks like they chose random colors that popped from another and slapped icons on them, or maybe they purposely left a design flaw to initiate a style movement or trend [Mind Blown].

Now Look at Us

Here we are a couple of years later with a number of designs that look very similar to this type of design. We are up to our ears with Flat UI, minimal iconography and big box buttons. All a designer has to do is take the guidelines Microsoft used and apply color theory or more specifically color meaning to their design and Voila! You have an amazing design for us to all enjoy.

Is Windows directly held accountable for this trend? No, I dont think so. But they have definitely made an impact in the interactive industry with their design as others bit their style hard. With a platform that large, it’s hard not to.


In conclusion, if you create a flawless design style and want to start a movement, perhaps you should scale back a design principle or two and design a flaw for others to improve upon. Who knows, maybe your design style will be the next movement.