Good Design

It’s 11pm on a Monday night and I’m sitting in the library, wracking my brains for a ‘Good Design’ for the purposes of this project. My body is telling me that I have to find my way to my bed but my to-do list says differently. Clearly, I still haven’t escaped the leisures of a summer sleep cycle. So what do I do?

I go to the Library Cafe to grab a cup of coffee.

It’s a simple task. One I’ve always done and never thought much about. Get up, stretch my legs, get some coffee, maybe grab a snack too and return to my seat to continue working. I do this all the time, and so do hundreds of other students.

Something so reassuring, that its usefulness is too obvious, has to be a good design. Hence, the Bertrand Library Cafe is the subject of this post.

There are several factors that make it a good design.

  • As soon as we walk into the library, the cafe and all its colorful goodies are visible to us.
  • Though the cafe is small, it has a variety of options and is open from 7am until 12pm which covers all the crucial hours that the students are in the library.
  • One can pay using almost all modes of currency on this campus — dining dollars, campus dollars, cash and credit card.

The Coffee

  • There is simple coffee (in different blends), tea bags, soda, fruit juice, energy drinks water and fancier coffee drinks such as lattes and iced mochas.
  • The simple coffees can be self served (add your own coffee, milk, sugar) and thus, make the lines move faster especially during busy hours.
  • There are usually two-three attendings present to man the cash-counter and make the customized coffee drinks.

Other Drinks

  • The sodas, fruit juices etc. can be pulled out from the refrigerator and brought to the cash counter for payment. This flexibility allows one to spend time choosing their drink of choice and only engage the attending once they’re ready to pay.

The Snacks

  • There’s muffins, nuts, candy, pastries, chips etc. available for instant snacking.
  • There are also a variety of bagels and cream cheese that the attendings can toast for us.
  • There are several healthy options too like fruit, yogurt, granola bars, chopped vegetables and boiled eggs.
  • In case one is trying to get a quick meal (especially after bison hours), the cafe also has pre-made sandwiches, cold wrap and salads.

Who uses this cafe?

  • Mostly students but also, pretty much anyone who’s on campus and wants coffee or a quick snack.

When do they use it?

  • When they want good coffee but don’t want to go down to 7th street cafe.
  • On their way to class or other commitments.
  • When they’re studying in the library or anywhere uphill.
  • When students are too busy and need a quick meal.

While there might be a few improvements that can still be made to the Library cafe, I believe that its location, available options and the efficiency allows it to become one of the most underappreciated ‘Good Designs’ on our campus.

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