Design Critiques: Good & Bad

Physical Design — Good
photo (1)Dad’s coffee grinder. Good design because it’s compact, simple and very, very obvious in what needs to happen to accomplish the mission. ‘Nuff said.






Physical Design — Bad
IMG_6851The center console of the 2015 Ford F-150. I didn’t start this year as a car gal but between managing a car brand and a gearhead boyfriend, it grew on me. At the 2014 Milwaukee Auto Show I was reviewing the 2015 Ford F-150 and noticed something real weird about the center console. Clearly, the design team completely overlooked this aspect of the product because I really doubt people still put their mobile device in such a container. Nothing about it says “use this” it instead says “your stuff is going to get caught on this all the freaking time!”



Digital Design — Good

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 6.57.15 This site does a wonderful job showcasing what’s new, interesting, funny and groundbreaking in the design space. It also manages to accomplish this by NOT having an obviously-Pinterest type of feel. Instead, it uses the space meaningfully, no taking up too much with images and not adding a whole lot of extra fluff to make the site look like it was designed. I also really like the neat trick they did with the roll-over on each article. It doesn’t get in the way and gets the job done.

Digital Design — Bad

photo 2The Headspace password reset. I find this issue in more than one place, the most recent place being on Headspace. The interface looks great! I want to interact with it! Seems easy enough! But only after you enter your password does it tell you your password has to meet certain conditions. Looks like it wasn’t so easy after all.





Local Design — Good

The Chicago Marathon. It’s an unbelievable amount of work to orchestrate something this completely massive. Having run many, many races, it’s pretty apparent when they’re not well thought out. There’s not enough water, there’s not enough cool stuff, the road isn’t blocked off, there are no port-o-potties, etc. I was blown away by the whole design experience of the Chicago Marathon because at no point did I say “man, this really sucks” (except maybe mile 24), I just got to think about running and the race team did the rest.

Local Design — Bad
photo 1The bus system. Pick and aspect, I’ll help you tear it apart. We can get into the lack of app later but in the new physical bus design that was brought to market in late 2013, there was a critical error in the design of the last pair of seats on the lower level. While the metal bar feels essential for the standing rider, it’s placed in utterly the wrong place for the rider who’s sitting next to a total stranger. It creates a really unnatural sitting position making what can be an uncomfortable ride even less desirable.



Service Design — Good

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 6.42.26 I can’t believe I’m saying that. But after all the flack it got, they really upgraded to an experience that was very easy to use. When I got in trouble, calling was easy, the customer care folks were competent(!), helpful, and actually did me a pretty big solid in the coverage department. I’m really pleased with that whole experience.

Service Design — Bad
20120801-081342.jpg I know I just said the bus system is terrible, one of the most terrible parts being you have to physically go to a specific location to purchase tickets in increments of singles, weeklys, monthlys. You can’t do this online in any way. You can’t auto-deduct. You can’t rely on a physical object with permanence, the tickets themselves are paper. So, don’t lose it, don’t leave it in your pants in the wash and don’t forget to get to your local retailer before the end of the month otherwise, they’ll be SOLD OUT.

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