Last week anybody was talking about Iowa. I usually wouldn’t bother accoutrement the altercation here if not for two things. First of all, even though I currently live in Sopot, Poland, Iowa is a cogent part of my life. Back in 1999, I accomplished high-school in Marion, IA (with not the best grades), and that was a life-changing time for me. A nerdy web-designer/developer, out in Iowa, trying to fit in, and mostly failing.

So I do feel affiliated to Iowa as it’s a part of who I am.

When I saw some leaked images from that abominable app, I accomplished that it’s yet addition archetype of article I’ve been talking about A LOT…

Bad UI often means a bad product.


While the UX crowd wasn’t too admiring by my access before, I still stand by it. There are edge cases in which a able team of developers built a adult app for pros. It can be poorly done on the front-end side and still do its job well.

But in most cases, UI is that one area of UX that is a dead betrayal of all-embracing quality. You can’t really judge advice architecture, flows, or successful, activated analysis in a artefact after alive all about it.

A lousy UI we can admit right away

It’s even more credible with the Iowa app because it’s allegedly an official product. I know the political divide is quite big nowadays. Still, as both parties are primarily American, maybe they could, you know, use the US Web Design System in their official products?


It was created for a reason (and is quite good, actually). Sure, it’s for the “web,” but an app like that isn’t that circuitous that it couldn’t have been recreated using it.

What happened to “judge a book by its cover”?

Even if the people in charge of the Iowa Caucus are not “tech-savvy,” they apparently use other, more aesthetic apps daily. Don’t they see the difference? Really? Can you spot a rusted-over old Toyota next to a brand new Tesla and still say: “They’re both appropriately good.”

Some of the adolescent advisers maybe even worked on some agenda articles (or around them) before. I can’t brainstorm the entire UX / UI / CX action being outsourced by a major political force to an IT firm after anyone to catechism the result.

So why was a artefact that looks like a anatomic demo even chosen? We’ll apparently never know (or don’t want to know). I’ll try to go over what little screenshots of the app appeared and briefly comment them. Lots of those problems are accepted and are an easy way to judge a product. Sure — you can be wrong — but you likely won’t be.

Let’s check it out, shall we?


The image above is a good example. This is the login screen. Notice the “click here” delivery that can be ambagious on mobile accessories (it’s an app after all). There are at least 3 problems with this very simple screen alone. We can, of course, talk about the alignment of the entire screen, or logo-to-form relation. But that’s not the point.


Even with low quality, in-perspective screenshots you can still see a lot of problems here. There are three altered border radii (the data table, the pill-shaped pink indicator, and the button) in just one screen.

Nearly aggregate here is messy at first glance. Spacing can be too large and then aback too small in places. It seems like it has been put calm randomly.


Ok, enough.

I don’t know the whole story here — obviously. And I’m not trying to bash an easy target for the sake of it. My point is that anticipation by just a couple of screenshots and addition with a good eye, maybe a lot of this could’ve been avoided. And if not, it’s still a good example.

Sure, the botheration with the app wasn’t with its interface. But this interface (and its quality) shows there will be problems even before you test the app on “the night.” Anticipation a book by its cover may be aching but with agenda products, it’s 9/10 times right. The goal of architecture apps of any kind is to make them the best accessible quality. This is a lot of the things you can’t see like proper server infrastructure, security, privacy, fast load times and a lot more.

Read next: A love letter to my admired NAS Drive, the WD PR2100