3 designs to start off

There are times when you cannot help but curse under your breathe (or swear out loud) on designs that are so bad that you are left wondering what thought process the person behind the design did. These are some on my list that I can rant non-stop.

Toggle App on TV that secretly wishes no one uses it.

This is an app that loads on smart TVs to watch local (Singapore) shows, catch up on the ones you missed and drama series that are exclusive to the app. The intent is good and it fits the current consumer needs to watch shows on demands. Based on the publicity and exclusive shows produced for the app itself, much resource is allocated to build this app. However, a User Interface upgrade on the app please? I can spend 30 minutes (I was determined.) trying to find shows without avail. And yes, please make the search page more visually friendly unless the page is targeting against all users who do not have perfect eyesight.

On the other end of the spectrum, Toggle can make many references to Netflix. I “did my time” with Netflix by watching a couple or Marvel dramas (Iron Fist, Daredevil) and based on what I have watched, browsed, Netflix will recommend me related dramas, films. I can still search for shows not found in any of the lists that Netflix inferred, and yes, it’s user friendly for all (including imperfect eyesight users).

An apple to apple comparison (Netflix — Left).

Dangerous Doors, especially the glass sliding doors next to glass panels

It does not only deceive birds, it has done much damage to itself and a couple of humans who wanted to walk through them.

I was riding an escalator down from second floor, enjoying a short people-watching session and “THUMP”, I saw a man tried to walk through a glass window panel. Ouch and I empathized with him. The lethal pairing of a sliding glass door and panels, combined with the bright sunlight shining through the door, the half renovated status of the building added to a deceived perspective of an open air ground lobby.

Not long after, I received a Facebook circulation on Norman doors (basically poorly designed doors termed by Don Norman) and it dawned upon me that yes, bad doors are everywhere (have a good read on Norman doors).

A good door is obvious. Based on how the handles are done, it does not need a “PUSH” and a “PULL” label. Though, for sliding doors, it will be a different type of design to differentiate the door versus the panels. In the meantime, just be careful of transparent sliding doors.

Will she push or pull the door?

Subway stations signboard that makes you lost for 10 seconds

I was in Singapore’s Circle Line (we call it the yellow line sometimes) and a tourist came over and asked, “Excuse me, is this an express train?”. I looked up and realized what he meant. There is a curve arrow that is suppose to serve as the direction of where the train is heading but yet it looks an alternative route that will be skip Tai Seng and Bartley stations to head straight to Serangoon station.

This is a new addition to the signboard (was not there a couple of months back). It is really not too bad but it does add confusion. I would prefer if the arrows are placed at the side of each end rather than a curved arrow inside the station lines.

Is the train skipping Tai Seng and Bartley and going straight to Serangoon station?

The funny thing is, the signboard was nicely designed until this new add on came in. Sometimes it’s better to simplify than add on more features.

It’s easy to see bad designs as they stick out so badly but a good design is often taken for granted. Usually it is so well crafted that you just subconsciously carry out or looked at it without thinking further. I am still working on to hype up my awareness for good designs.

Is there any other designs you have encountered that made you cringed, hurt you (eg. A thump on your head) or gotten you confused? Love to hear more bad/ good examples around the world!

Kelly K has been a product manager in banks for 6 years and on the way to build her branding and portfolio in user experience.

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