The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly examples of UX Design
Ironhack Pre Work
It’s been 24 years since Dieter Rams, Braun’s famous designer, shared the 10 Principles for Good Design during a speech in New York. He influenced a plethora of designers who followed his path. Some may take these commandments as gospel and some may argue that we should aim for better design, that good design won’t cut it and the criteria for better should be different.
I thought about 3 good and 3 bad user experiences that made them memorable for me. I’ll try to see whether Rams’s principles were applied to these experiences. Did the presence of them made them better or the absence worse?
Slack is a workspace for teams.
…and I’m a fan.
It’s pretty useful as it facilitates communication, helps team work remotely, and encourage file sharing across teams.
Aesthetics is definitely there. They wouldn’t be where they are without attention to the smallest detail. The cognitive load is low given its capabilities. So it’s understandable.
But the real reason it has good design is it hooks its users better than its competitors with great onboarding and habit building fundamentals.
In a nutshell: notifications are external triggers. They are cues to make you take action. You take action by replying to a colleague to feel important and to fulfill your desire to be great. Other colleagues agree with you and share emojis. That’s your reward. And you invest more by inviting more users, integrating more apps, and buying their service.
#2: Apple Customer Service
You buy a new laptop, go back to Spain after 2 months in Turkey only to hear a buzzing sound coming from one of the fans, and you understand that you can’t get a replacement in Spain. Well, that was a bad start that was followed by a great experience.
It was super easy to schedule a genius bar appointment even during the Covid-19 pandemic. I went to the Apple store 2 days after and I got in at the time that the appointment was scheduled. I waited for 5 minutes tops to talk to the staff and explain the situation. They said they’ll get back to me after they run some diagnostics and try to replicate the problem. I’m in and out in 10 minutes. I have a real dislike for waiting at retail shops, especially for an inconvenience like this. So far so good.
They called me 2 days later to say that they couldn’t replicate the problem but they could change the fan that I thought the noise was coming from and I could get the laptop the day after.
I got the laptop and I still waited 10 minutes tops for the whole thing. Bada-bing-bada-boom!
Now, this might not sound like anything extraordinary. But how smooth the whole process was and how much trust they created with the experience and not the actual product I bought was super rare in my world. A world where dealing with any kind of customer support issue makes me contemplate life with a frown on my face.
#3 Dolce Gusto Coffe Machine:
I’m not a coffee aficionado by any means but I’m an addict that gulps a liter a day that has standards(not really) and likes variety. This machine combined with the capsules with different coffees is enough for me at least on the weekdays where I see caffeine as one of my macronutrients along with proteins, carbs, and fats.
- It’s useful. Gets the job done every time in a matter of seconds.
- It’s not super far from being aesthetic.
- A toddler would know how to use it.
- It’s honest. There’s no claim that this is some higher-end product.
These seem to be enough for me to consider it good design.
#1 iPhone Alarms
Apple recently introduced a new screen for its alarm app. The previous version that made you scroll through minutes made me lose 3.04 hours and 1460 calories approximately every year since I got my first iPhone 3G back in 2009. I don’t know about all the principles but this design was definitely more long-lasting than one would hope for. I’m not sure if it was enough to qualify as good design as it lacked: psychological usefulness, aesthetic, and innovation.
#3 Most Shoes
Anatomically the widest part of the human feet is the toes. But a majority of shoes taper in the forefoot. This causes bone deformities that makes you google 100 different types of hallux valgus surgeries to address the issue.
I think this is a great opportunity to give a shout out to my favorite shoe brands that keeps me in the game. They do a good job of providing usefulness, innovation, attention to detail for sure.
#3 USB Stick ← → USB Port
If I had a nickel every time I did this…