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Lecture 4

CIS 2250 Lecture 4: Bad & Good Design

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Computing and Information Science
CIS 2250

Bad Design – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Buttons, Buttons and Buttons Problems ❖ Large number of buttons and other controls. ❖ Steep learning curve for basically a simple task. ❖ Similar control for very different functions – also need to know English! ❖ Field of buttons – must either “read” all the labels or “memory” where all the desired functions are. Some Good Design ❖ Volume and channel controls are different shapes. ❖ Still using labels but there is a visual cue that allows you to tell the difference between the two functions. ❖ But… why these shapes? How do they relate to the functions? Historical Design Artifacts ❖ Sometimes confusing design features are caused by historical use of design adaptations. Sometimes Awkward is Good ❖ Sometimes confusing design features are on purpose… For example, … Train doors o The handle for train doors are on the outside. o Why? ▪ Safety – slow is better ▪ Safety – make the user think ▪ History – porters opened the doors for passengers Make Observations ❖ Good designs involve understanding how the artifact is really used. ❖ Bad design does not value this – some other issue if given more priority to the detriment for the utility of the design. Give us a Cue! ❖ Good design advertises its functionality naturally. ❖ Bad design does not cue the user and forces them to use memory or trial and error. For example, which side is up? And what does up means? ❖ Asymmetry is your friend! Working under Bad conditions ❖ Conditions are not always as you like, but your design has to work ALL of the time! Dark/Cold ❖ Try opening the right window in the dark or with gloves on! (Car window example pg#63) ❖ Layout of the controls mirrors the window positions are too close, black and not near what they control which is a basic design principle in many control situations. When different is not enough… ❖ Humans need meaning ❖ Make design choices that help people find meaning ❖ At the very least, do not harm… do not create opportunities for mistakes or confusion. And Finally… out the door ❖ Doors are excellent design subjects ❖ How do you know whether to push or pull? ❖ How does the door “speak” to you? Good Design Design is hard… Good design is really hard… What is Good Design? Good design is… ❖ Invisible and natural ❖ Evo
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