Mayans End of Days Cancelled But Time’s Up For Tasteless Tech, Design, and Language

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Written by Digital Surgeons,
• 4 min read

Just in the nick of time. Ancient Maya whiteboard computation exercises uncovered earlier this year show calculations indicating that the world, as we know it, will go on for the foreseeable future.

  “The deadline of the world has been extended,” declared triumphant anthropologists. “The universal consensus is that the Mayans knew we would need more time to get the ending right.”

  While the new calculations refute the destruction timetable so long attributed to that vanished civilization, they also give us an opportunity to consider what we might be better off without starting in 2013.

  Here at DS we’re truly grateful that the world is likely to keep turning. And, we would be even more grateful if the following design, technology, and communications stuffs would actually cease to exist by the end of 2012. Consider a mini-Maya end of days for the following.


  Fonts: Your days are numbered, Papyrus. It’s been nice (not really) knowing you, Courier, Comic Sans – you’ve been eliminated. First to the chopping block, but just the beginning of a long line of overused and outdated typefaces that should die in 2012 and beyond.

  Infographics: When done well: truly effective visual expressions of information. When done poorly: blocks of text arranged on a page w/ a couple of icons. Come on, guys, this is not what Edward Tufte had in mind when he wrote those great books.

  QR codes: Can we see a show of hands for those of you who have bothered to scan a QR code? And now, those of you who thought the payoff for your effort was worth it, please stand on your heads. Basic design rule, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.

  Fashion: Please die before you kill us, platform shoes and 8” heels. No offense, Lady Gaga, but why would strong, independent women want assistance to walk? Feet bend, so should shoes, and unless you’re auditioning to be in a moco jumbie chorus line, what is the point?


  Internet Explorer: Die Internet Explorer 6 through 8. 9 you’re on probation. Really, Microsoft lovers, update already. We’re tired of jumping through development hoops so that you can live in the past. You want the coolness of css, javascript, and html5 to just work? Switch to Chrome.

  Android Updates: Cupcake, Jellybean, Donut and Ice Cream Sandwich: no matter how delicious they sound, we’re sick of their underperformance. It’s time to change our OS diets and throw these platforms in the garbage if their updates continue to come up wanting.

  Fake Twitter Accounts: One new follower? And she’s following 5,000? Ugh. The Mayans would have put a quick end to these accounts that pump out avatars of scantily clad women, cheesy quotes and links to spam websites. Now, it’s up to us. Die spambots, die.

  Expensive Electronic Accessories with Disposable Batteries: A beautifully designed multi-touch Bluetooth mouse that runs on AA batteries is like a Mercedes that has a lawnmower rip cord for the ignition. All the design/function magic is gone the moment you have to slam it against a desk to dislodge a dead AA Duracell.


  Social Over-Sharing: Let’s resist the temptation to post private thoughts – please keep them to yourself, send a letter, or write in a journal. This stuff doesn’t belong online. And please, please, leave the greeting card sentiments to Hallmark.

  Acronyms: Listen up Government Program Directors, Tech Junkies, and Terminal Texters of the world. FYI – alphabet soup belongs in a bowl, served with a grilled cheese sandwich, not in communications.

  Agency Jargon: deep dive, curate, circle back, pipeline, 30,000 foot view, silos, monetization, blah, blah, blah. Granted, we’re in the business of creating communications, but couldn’t we use the perfectly good words people already understand to explain new ideas?

  Verbification of Nouns, Nounification of Verbs: I could architect up an example to impact you, but why, when you could just Google one?

  “With All Due Respect…”: Has there ever been a statement following this preamble that is respectful in any way? With all due respect, isn’t it time to kill this and other forms of political correctness giving cover to insults and thinly veiled disdain?

  So, now that we’ve opened the door, what would you like to see eliminated in 2012?