In 2015, a beautiful lady from Colombia won the Miss Universe title. Yes. For 30 seconds.

Miss Universe Colombia

It was the day of the Miss Universe Finale. Steve Harvey was the host of the show. You might know him from the Steve Harvey Show.


Yes, that’s him. And these beautiful ladies were the finalists of Miss Universe 2015. Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines, Ariadna Gutierrez from Colombia and Olivia Jordan from the USA.

Miss Universe 2015 Finalists

The time came when Steve Harvey had to announce the winner and he was given a card with the name of the winner and the runners. So he takes out the card and announces the winner as ‘Colombia’. The Colombian lady had tears in her eyes. She starts celebrating and the audience starts cheering. The poor girl. If only she knew what was coming.

In the background, Steve Harvey comes to the mic and he announces that the Colombian lady is actually the runner-up. [Pause]. And the winner is Philippines.


View the whole incident here.


As you might understand, Steve Harvey had messed up and he had announced the wrong winner of Miss Universe 2015 pageant.

As you can expect, the world of Social Media erupted. There were jeers, memes, hate messages and death threats. Of course, Philippines people cheered. Steve Harvey became the laughing stock for quite a few months. But, why was he blamed?

You can take a look at the results card which was handed out to Steve.

Miss Universe 2015 Results Card
Miss Universe 2015 Results Card


Where in the damn is the name Philippines? Huh? After 15 seconds – Oh, it’s there. At the right. Right bottom. Small font, thin text. Great.

If this is your reaction when you saw the card, then give me a five!


Design Mistake #1:

What was the designer thinking when he placed the winner text at the bottom right at such a small font size and without any highlights?

And you might also think for a pageant powered by millions of dollars could have invested a dollar in designing a coloured card and getting it printed. If the winner’s name was in green and others in grey/red, it would have aided poor Steve in getting the winner’s name correct.


Design Mistake #2:

Now to the next mistake.

There is something called ‘Banner Blindness‘. You see these ads all over the websites which you visit. How many times do you really pay attention to what the ad is even about? The fact is, your brain has become trained to ignore such banners which come with fancy formatting and fancy colours. And these ads are usually placed on the right side of the webpage usually in blogs and articles. So you ignore or at least give less importance to the right side column of anything which is divided into two columns.

Banner Blindess Heat Map
These heatmaps track the eyeball movements when the user reads an article – Red shows areas where user focus most. Blue is the less viewed areas. Grey are the areas where users did not focus at all. Green highlights the ads. Image Credits: Josiah Tullis


Design Mistake #3:

The mistake with regard to Banner Blindness may sound too technical but there is another obvious mistake in the design of the card.

Right-handers usually hold a regular sized card/paper at the right bottom.

But at the right bottom is the name of the winner. End of story.

Hand holding Miss Universe 2015 Results Card
Illustration of a hand holding Miss Universe 2015 Results Card


If the person who had designed this card had observed the way other people handled this card, he would have noticed his mistake in time.

But anyway, thought the wrong winner was announced initially, all is well in the end. There’s always a lesson to be learnt.

Though a tad late,

Congratulations Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach.!

Miss Universe 2015 - Pia Wurtzbach
Miss Universe 2015 – Pia Wurtzbach



Photos Credits: CBS News ; GIF Credits: Giphy