Goodbye, Yugo – ugliest car ever (Bad UX we loved)

Dear visitor: Please keep in mind that this post is originally from Vibor Cipan's personal blog, the name of which we eventually adopted as our company name together with its conveniently-named URL. We're keeping the posts on our official company blog for all the subscribers to Vibor's blog who have read and commented on his previous posts. Please be aware that this post represents Vibor's personal thinking few years ago and doesn't necessarily represent the opinions of the UX Passion as a company today. 

Cheapest car ever until recently, ugliest car ever, car that is used in number of presentations about user experience as an example of bad user experience – Zastava Koral Yugo is going to history today. After 17 years of being in production, Yugo is retired today, November 20th 2008. This is a tribute to Yugo and its UX…

When you are born in ex-Yugoslavia (Bosnia in my case) sometime in 80’s, you are destined to live your life surrounded by Yugo cars. Ugly, noisy but cheap cars that were once pride of Yugoslavia. Growing up in Croatia (or in some other ex-YU country) you have seen all models of Yugo (45, 55, 60 and 65) where numbers suggest engine power (in horse power units). In total, 794,238 Yugos have been produced and 141,511 cars were sold in USA. About 70 000 in UK. Yugo was Yugoslavia’s most popular export product. It was exported to more than 70 countries worldwide.

But now you might wonder what is connection between Yugo and UX (user experience)? Today, in this very emotional moment for each and every Yugo lover, I’m seeking a connection between Yugo and UX and paying a tribute to this car.

Well, simply said – Yugo is great example of bad UX. So great example that I can remember seeing at least half dozen of presentations on UX topics that were depicting Yugo as bad UX. Mine was one of those too.

This is screenshot form that presentation:

Yugo as great example of bad UX (user experience)

Yugo as great example of bad UX (user experience)

Yugo was car and car only. One that was able to transport you from point A to point B. Not always, though. Sometime during 2007 insurance company Hagerty has conducted a survey among 2500 people – they have voted Yugo to be one of the 10 ugliest cars ever. Earlier in 1987 Consumer Report published review of Yugo stating that buyers would be better of buying a good used car than a new Yugo. They didn’t stop there – they stated that it “barely qualified as car“. Car Talk has voted Yugo as a worst car of millennium…

But Yugo has made its way in pop – culture and history.

Die Hard 3? Yes, Yugo was there. Drowning Mona – you can’t forget that one, can’t you? Of course, 101 Dalmatians, too…

Metallica features Yugo in their video clip “The Day That Never Comes” – somewhere at 5:34 into video.

Take a look at it here:

Don’t miss “In a Yugo” – parody on Elvis’ “In a Ghetto” performed by Paul Shanklin.

“A liberal guy and and liberal gal
Buy a Yugo…
And they drive with pride…”

And my personal favorite – there is great band called Zabranjeno pušenje and their song Yugo 45.

British guys were having fun with Yugo as well. Honestly, I felt somewhat bad to see Yugo ending in such sad way…

For your viewing pleasure (first part is about Volvo and then about iconic Yugo):

So, with Yugo, one example of bad UX (and part of my childhood and early teen memories) goes to history. What remains are memories and passion of Yugo enthusiasts these days. And, of course Yugos on our PowerPoint presentations will be here for future generations to serve as great example of bad user experience. Looking forward for next one!

At the end let’s not judge Yugo too harsh, OK?

Comments (14)

  1. Yugo was indeed “the car and nothing but the car”. I remember a joke: people used to say that they hope next generation of Yugo will come with heaters on the rear window so one’s hands won’t freeze during winter when pushing it. How about that for a UX.

  2. More jokes on Yugo:

    Q. How do double the value of a Yugo?
    A. Fill it up with gas.

    Q. How do you half the value of a Yugo?
    A. Take all of the change stuck in the seats.

  3. @Darko Čengija: Hvala na komentaru, sjećam se te priče :)

    @YugoRulez: Good ones, true classics!

  4. He who had money (stealing or earning) could have afforded a better car, but for the others it was always Yugo in ex Yugoslavia. If it wasn’t for Yugo, we would have been going on foot, that’s for sure. Not everyone was a politician, a thief, or a gasterbeiter. So cut the crap on Yugo since it a) was an affordable car for everyone b) decreased export deficit greatly. It wasn’t perfect alright, but that’s exactly the reason why it was so much a symbol of all of us.

  5. Hey!!! … Yugo is not ugly! May by cheep but not ugly!

  6. Dare BN you are making interesting point by indirectly stating that only politician, thief or gasarbaiter could make decent money for decent car. Man where do you live? In Serbia?

  7. yugo is from serbia,not from bosnia..

  8. Yugo is realy sux :) but i love to see yugo on the road it is quiet funny :) most popular car in Bosnia now after war, is Volks Wagen (VW) I think every second car is Golf II :) heheheh volim vas, love you all

    • Hehe hvala na komentaru, dobro me nasmijao i razveselio ;)

  9. Aj sto ljudi kazu da je ruzan, stvar ukusa ali da je iz Bosne eto je vec ponizavanje. Srbija ljudi SRBIJA

  10. Have you ever contemplated including some training videos for your content.

  11. can i ask is there going to be more of this coz will be coming back

  12. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don�t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article

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