A few days ago I shared the concept of Norman Doors, which are doors that can be confusing to open. When you come across a typical door and push the flat plate to open it, it just works and you don’t really notice it. However, when you come to a door with a handle on it to pull (but you were supposed to push instead), you notice right away.
This is true for most kinds of design. In “The Design of Everyday Things“, author Don Norman puts it this way:
Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible, serving us without drawing attention to itself. Bad design, on the other hand, screams out its inadequacies, making itself very noticeable.
This applies to menus in restaurants (“why is the font is so hard to read?”), website design (“where on earth is the contact information?”) and even things like flashlights (“how do I turn it on?”).
Good design blends in and does its job, whereas bad design stands out. In a way, it’s kind of like the IT department at your company; they only are noticed (and appreciated?) when things are going sideways.
If you’re a designer and people don’t comment on your work too often, that might be a very good thing.