Posts in category: Design

Ill-differentiated triggers

Ill-differentiated triggers

This was on the wall next to a secure door. To exit, I had to touch one of these buttons. But which one? With such ambiguity, I wonder if they get lots of false alarms? I wonder if all the doors in the building have panels arranged in the same way? Or whether some of...
If you want to survive in design

If you want to survive in design

I took the screengrab on the left. And mocked up the one on the right. It still astounds me how often I come across illegible designs. I can understand why the designer chose the typeface on the left. It does have a rather run, rhythmic quality to it. It conveys an...
Details details details

Details details details

This is one of the monitors in a local McDonald’s. Do you notice anything odd about the display? It has been like this since I first came here over 5 years ago. The vertical white line pans left and right endlessly. Order numbers appear behind the words...
The humble index.html page

The humble index.html page

In the age of WordPress and other cheap and easy content management systems, we should not forget the humble index.html file. You can build one with nothing more than Notepad. It is a fast way to get a simple web page up; such as one with your logo and contact...
Macbook Pro 2020 Prediction

Macbook Pro 2020 Prediction

Just for fun, here is a parody prediction of the next Macbook Pro refresh in 2020. Thinner, completely portless, and still stubbornly non-touchscreen....
A body of worth

A body of worth

Create a body of work to demonstrate your abilities and commitment to your craft. Two examples come to mind: This guy who makes a new spoon every day. This guy who designs a movie poster every day. No amount of fancy marketing words can come close to the powerful...
Hair-trigger ads UX fail

Hair-trigger ads UX fail

Yet another user-experience (UX) fail because … advertising! If you are a regular reader of news.com.au on your phone you may have noticed this annoying behaviour: swiping to scroll/pan a story often triggers an ad to open in a new browser tab/page. This is poor...
Apple Magic Mouse design fail

Apple Magic Mouse design fail

Image via iphonehacks.com Seriously Apple — where did you put the charging port for your “magic” mouse now? You do know this means the mouse cannot be used while it’s recharging right? And when that battery eventually wears out and stops charging, the mouse will...
Leadership fishtanks

Leadership fishtanks

A poor leader is like this fishtank design. It is all about surface showy bits designed to draw attention to the tank itself, detracting from the content within. A good leader is like this design. Strong, simple, and unadorned. The focus is on the content of the tank,...
Obvious but not too easy

Obvious but not too easy

When we think about improving something we often think of making it easier to use. Sometimes the opposite is true. Like this alarm trigger on a Perth train. The trigger has to be immediately obvious and accessible. But the barrier to triggering must be high so as to...
Mobile power

Mobile power

Do you travel with a spare battery for your phone? On the most recent trip to Europe, I used my phone to store travel information like itineraries and hotel vouchers, navigate cities, collect my thoughts (write!), communicate with friends, access exhibitions, and...
Foot traffic lines

Foot traffic lines

Is not often we think about or consciously notice lines used to direct foot traffic in public spaces. Here are three examples from my recent travels. This triangle was painted at a T intersection of the exit ramps in London Pimlico tube station. I think it is intended...
Use the whole wall

Use the whole wall

Why use small monitors when you can use the entire wall?! This is the arrivals information display wall at Vienna...
Viennese traffic lights

Viennese traffic lights

I love these fun pedestrian traffic lights in Vienna. There are many opportunities to add whimsy and fun to our everyday environment – virtual or real – without compromising usability or stomping on the user experience. These small touches add richness to...
Captcha an exercise in aggravation

Captcha an exercise in aggravation

I’ve just spent an aggravating half hour trying to log in to a website that uses captcha. And I am pissed. What started as a clever way to sort the bots from the humans have evolved into a form of digital purgatory — not exactly the sort of experience you...
Un-extraordinary Vertu

Un-extraordinary Vertu

Vertu may be for extraordinary people but this ad of theirs at Berlin Tegel airport was definitely sub-ordinary. Actually rather poor. The composition is amateurish. The layout looks like it had been assembled last-minute with elements spread mechanically, evenly and...
Design museum design fail!

Design museum design fail!

There are three examples of a functional design fail that really should never happen outside of a design school.  These were spotted in an Oslo design museum of all places! Dark cyan on black with a thin typeface. Light silver on translucent white. (Maybe it was...
Communicating the basics

Communicating the basics

Sometimes designers shoot ourselves in the foot when it comes to communicating. We become so focused and caught up in the work we forget to tell the end user critical information such as the all-important where and when of an event. This site — 100serie.no...
Tins of paint?

Tins of paint?

No. Tins of pineapple! The colours are not ones typically associated with food or fruit. The layout also mimics that of paint tin labels. Examples below from...
Just say “fast”

Just say “fast”

Another sign that had too many words. So I fixed it (virtually!) The main copy can be further simplified to: Hold small children. Face forward. Stand away from sides. Hold handrail. No bicycles, prams, pushchairs,...
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