Thursday, February 10, 2022

Good Design, Bad Design

The spine doctor was at a decently-sized hospital, and after they checked me in, they told me how to get to the doctor's office. They said, "Follow the orange circles to the end."

This is what it looked like:

This was wonderful, because it was so simple. Even better, every time I was about to turn a corner, there was always the next orange circle in my vision before I turned. 

In other words, it was perfect design. What a simple, comprehensive way to convey information. The doctor's office was a healthy walk away, and I knew I was on the right track every second.

Less than fifty yards away, though, was the exact opposite of good design.

Here's what bad design looks like:

This should also be part of a new series: Bad Pictures to Explain Bad Design. 

When you're about to turn into the hospital entrance, there are two entrances right next to each other (one to get in, the other to get out) with a median between them. The "wrong way" sign is set back from the road, and your eyes don't focus on it until after you already commit to one of the two entrances. In other words, it's totally useless until it's too late. 

The correct way to design this is to have a larger and wider sign between the two entrances, right on the edge of the street. The left half of the sign is in red and says "Wrong Way." The right half of the sign is green and says "Entrance." Without even reading the words, your brain instinctively would head for the green entrance, which is the right one. 

If you go in the exit, you risk being car bombed by hospital workers changing shift and driving like mad to get home. 

Not that it happened to me, obviously.

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