Bad Design

Press the ESC key to cancel saving the …

In Office 2007, you sometimes get shown this funny little dialog box when saving a large document. Have you ever noticed it? So what happens if you click cancel – does it cancel saving the document? Or does it just … Continue reading

Zune.net: 8 serious design mistakes, and how they could have been prevented.

Before I start I’d like to say I’m not a Microsoft Hater. I’m actually very, very impressed with Office 2007 – the UI design is great. And when I saw today’s splurge of blog posts about the new Zune, I … Continue reading

An example of deliberately obtuse industrial design

I was in Finland a few weeks ago, and this was the control panel of the lift in my hotel. Imagine this scenario: you get in the hotel on the ground floor, you press a button, nothing happens. You try … Continue reading

A great example of bad dialog box design – Part 2.

Douglas Karr pointed out that I should put my money where my mouth is and explain how it should be redesigned. Having given it some thought, I’ve realised this is a particularly tricky dialog box – the problem does not … Continue reading

A great example of bad dialog box design

A great example of bad dialog box design from Jungledisk: Long convoluted question – check! Frightening subheading – check! Options that don’t map onto the question – check!

Designing route planner services that play well with paper

These days when you see someone wondering down the street looking lost, chances are they don’t have a shop-bought map in their hands – it’s much more likely they have a scrappy looking print-out from a web-based route planner service. … Continue reading

Blockbuster just don’t know what they’ve got.

I was in Blockbuster yesterday, and started chatting to the staff. I asked them why Pan’s Labyrinth (good film) only has 2 copies shown, while Shadowboxer (worst film of all time) has 2 entire shelves worth of boxes on display. … Continue reading

Home Printers. Why are they usually rubbish?

Think back to your first ever home inkjet printer. Mine was an Apple stylewriter in 1993. Look at home printers today. They still look pretty much the same – they haven’t moved on much. Why not? We’ve been having the … Continue reading

Arrogant hardware design – Claim back your surfaces!

We’ve all had hardware like this in our home: designed to be an ornament yet attractive to nobody, and a waster of good surface space. You can imagine how the designers pictured it – the user placing the device on … Continue reading

Virgin Media show how to create a word-of-mouth campaign *against* your brand.

Word of mouth happens when customers become really passionate about your product or brand. The thing about passion is that is has two ends: very happy, and very angry. Here’s the story of my last two points of contact with … Continue reading