Design Matters

3 Bad Everyday Product Designs

Hola people,

“What does Design mean to you?” It’s a question we ponder a lot on and have itched to ask so many people when they talk about workflows, app designs or maybe even an email. We wanted to have a little fun and created a full form for the word “Design”. According to LBTC, Design should be the following things.

D is for Deterministic – A design should be deterministic. A certain workflow should always result in the same result every single time.

E is for Easy to use – A design should not only imply it is beautiful to look at but also easy to use.

S is for Simple & Striking – While a design should be striking, it should also be simple to look at, to use, to understand and navigate.

I is for Immediate Context – Context is an important part in every aspect of life and particularly important when it comes to design. Context is required for each design element and each workflow.

G is for Guided – “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” Dumbledore’s words is also Design 101 teachings. Every workflow should have some access to help at most of the pivotal points of the product.

N is for Need Adherence – All design should ideally solve a problem and something should necessitate each design element and workflow.

So, that’s our two cents on what Design means to us. Do you agree or something to add on to this? Let us know! Now moving ahead to today’s topic.

Design is everywhere. We have talked about multiple good designs everywhere in our world and the joys it bring us. As well spread good design is, bad design is like an epidemic. My “Human Centered Design” course enabled me to become aware of design in every day of our lives. While good design is a delight to the soul and brings happiness, a badly thought design is a sore to the eyes and a bad memory etched on.

 

SMint

The smint case is the classic example of an excellent design idea but failed badly in execution. The idea was brilliant. A new type of system to dispense mints. Instead of the cardboard or plastic box with a lid, they choose a matchbox type design.

Bad_Product_Design_SMint_2

The inner box when pushed opens up a spout that dispenses a mint at a time. When the spout is then pushed back, the lever hinges back to the outer box and the box is closed.

Now what really happens is not as per the plan. The hinge does not slide back into the outer box. And you open the box once and then the box opens from the other side and all the mints are flowing out. You might even hear the sound of the latch clicking and you shake the box and boom same result. Good idea, bad execution.

Close All Tabs in Safari Mobile

Open Safari, and click the tabs button (windows stacked) and you see all the windows as shown below.

You can swipe to the left, not right mind you – to close a tab.

Now say, you’ve 30-40 tabs open and you have to close them all. Can you see any option anywhere? Or maybe on the open tab page? Nope?

Well, there is an option by the way. Long press the “Done” button and you get these options. Why oh why, would you do this for an option that is obviously necessary?

This is an example of the Truncation design gone wrong but not handled in a proper way. A better way (than the current one, but still a bad way!) would be to have a big cross on the top and have the options pop on it’s long press.

Android File Transfer

Oh my my and this is just purely sad. No other word. What is this software even? The interface is pure shit. My first year B.Tech. project looked better than this and I am not even kidding a bit about this. And seriously the android.com looks better than the software.

And if the functions it provided were brilliant, I suppose everybody would have overlooked the interface issue, but can you take a look at the image and guess how you can possibly transfer files to it. Say you want to copy a song to the phone, you right click for the “Paste” option right? Nope. these are the only right click options you have. See anything that would help you? No?

After some trial and error, the user finds out that you have to drag files to and from the software to copy. Just one word. WOW!

Ever had to face these products in your life or maybe something similar? Have you been frustrated because of bad designs? Encountered a classic case of “Good Idea, Bad Execution”? Let us know in the comments below. And do let us know what design means to YOU! Don’t forget to comment, share and subscribe to Looking Beyond The Cover and spread the love!

Until later,

Vani

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