The other night’s Miss Universe beauty pageant highlighted another example of how poor design can lead to awkward, high profile consequences. If you haven’t seen or heard, Steve Harvey mistakenly proclaims Miss Colombia as Miss Universe. Steve had to apologize and backtrack and name the real winner, Miss Philippines. As you’d expect, the internet exploded with internet memes and Twitter posts poking fun at Steve.
But really, Steve is a scapegoat for a poor card design. Take a look at what Steve was looking at:
I harp on UI and UX a fair bit already, and this just highlights the importance of clean, directed design. You can understand the need for the card to be easily editable so winners can be printed after votes. However, their design is not good, and did nothing to help Steve.
The biggest principles the card failed was being understandable and thorough down to the details. I don’t know if the pageant also reviewed what the card looked like with Steve beforehand, but a little training upfront could have helped. However, great design should allow anyone to understand a product with or without training.
Here’s something that may be a little more fitting:
Okay, so I’m still not a designer. However, this took five minutes in PowerPoint, and it’s got a clearer message as to who won. The eyes follow a logical and natural progression from top to bottom with who won.
Point is, UI and UX extend beyond technology of websites and applications. They’re crucial, too, in physical collateral whether that be brochures, business cards, and even pageant winner cards. See this bathroom door as another example.
How would you design the card for Miss Universe? Any other poor designs you’ve seen, and you think you could design something better?
http://www.daryllu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/entrepreneurial-ninja_logo_sm.png00Daryl Luhttp://www.daryllu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/entrepreneurial-ninja_logo_sm.pngDaryl Lu2015-12-22 16:49:002020-12-09 10:13:25The Miss Universe Card Failed in One Glaring Design Principle – Being Understandable
I don’t have a thought-provoking post today, but instead, I’m going to share a few pictures I took of the door to the men’s bathroom at Atlanta Tech Village back in January. Why? Because in the spirit of entrepreneurship, 1) I think these pictures are great representations of user experience not matching its intended design and 2) lean startup methodology for a short-term resolution.
So the first picture here is of the door leading to the bathroom on the first floor. Looks pretty simple and straight forward, right? Except, it’s not.
You see, design-wise, this simple entrance and exit would normally mean you turn this little doodad:
Yes, a door knob. Except, when you go to turn it, it doesn’t turn. So, it’s pretty common to see people walk up to the door, attempt to turn it, find it “locked”, and either wait for someone inside to open (thinking someone’s inside), or leave altogether.
Upon closer inspection, the door jam is stuffed with paper. Instead, this door is meant to be pushed [from the outside]. See, this door knob is really arbitrary, and actually, it’s misleading. Here’s an example where design and engineering aren’t matching.
What this door should have is a simple “push” plate/ handle like you would find in any other push/ pull door. Yeah, like this one:
Or something like this:
You get the point.
Anyways, leave it for someone to implement a really simple solution in a rather lean startup way…
I don’t have a picture of the door since January, but I’ll update this post after Friday when I stop by ATV to see what’s changed. Last I remember, it hasn’t quite changed. Instead, I’ve just gotten used to ignoring the door knob and pushed through.
[EDIT] Here’s a picture of the door today (as of April 24, 2015)…
They implemented a push plate — there you go…
So the point here is really very simple: design simply and ensure user experience matches the design you intended. Sure in this example, users can get upset or worse have a kindergarten accident (hopefully not likely). But in today’s technology world, we as entrepreneurs, designers, and builders sometimes do not get second chances before users dump our app or SaaS in favor of a simpler, accurate, and engaging user experience.
Also, sometimes the most effective solution is really a lean startup-like solution in the short-term. In this case, a simple note taped to the door notifying the user to “Push” is sufficient for now. Most people will overlook the tackiness of this approach before you can actually replace the whole door knob in favor of one of the “Push” handles later.
http://www.daryllu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/entrepreneurial-ninja_logo_sm.png00Daryl Luhttp://www.daryllu.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/entrepreneurial-ninja_logo_sm.pngDaryl Lu2015-04-15 14:13:002020-12-09 10:17:42This Bathroom Door: Where User Experience Does NOT Match Design
I was scouring the web looking for some good posts about speed and agility as a startup’s advantage when I stumbled upon this: “Speed and Design: Key Differentiators for a Startup”. It was written more than two years ago in December 2011 by a tech entrepreneur, but it’s still highly relevant today. In fact, it’s spot on in what I was looking for.
One of the reasons why I was looking for speed and agility in a startup is the idea that so many great ideas are already out there. However, the startups that are born and grow and survive are oftentimes the ones that standout especially in design.
Today’s world has anyone and everyone programming. There are great resources like Codecademy, One Month Rails, Lynda.com, and they go on and on. There are utilities that help you build an app without ever touching real code! Back in the day (early 2000’s and prior), programmers came at a premium. The real good ones were always in San Francisco. But now, people have so many tools out there to get programming experience, and launch quickly.
The keys now to standout are a startup’s speed and design. Though, I will add one more to this list and make it lucky number 3 – service. Here are some thoughts on why and how speed, design, and service:
Build, Launch, Adjust, Repeat.There are niches and pain-points everywhere.Applying a model from industry to industry can work, but fine adjustments are needed to really build and cater to a specific market.The quicker you can implement and adjust (or pivot) the more likely you will win customers and win them fast over competitors.
Brains Are Rare Talent.Those with creative minds have it made.Creativity is like one of those attributes that many people aren’t born with.Instead, it takes unique minds to sometimes come up with the most unique solutions.Creativity is difficult to train.
Great Programmers Can Be Your Catalyst.It’s true that with coding, there are almost infinite ways to implement a solution.At the end of the day, programmers are builders where architects (the creatives) may provide the final plans.If you get me to the future state, I don’t need to know what’s behind the curtain so much.However, great programmers have the know-how and the experience to know how to deploy quickly and may know the reasons why NOT to employ a particular method or code due to some harsh learnt lessons from the past (i.e. polling can be a major server suck).
Keep it simple and sweet.KISS has long been a phrase tossed around about anything and everything.My dad actually said K.I.S.S. stood for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”Whatever works, I suppose.In the end, today’s culture is NOW NOW NOW.And because of this, startups need to orient their products and services to help customers get set up quickly.People aren’t going to make time to understand your product if there’s something out there that is both easier to set up and easier to use.Set up, training, and transacting take time, and as you all know the other popular phrase… time is money.
Bring It All Together with Superior Service.Tying everything above is service.Or rather more specifically, customer service.As a startup, you’re bound to run into problems and issues be they software bugs, product quality control, service issues, etc.Your ability to provide personal customer service quickly will endear your customers.If you fail to be upfront and honest and provide assistance timely, you’ll quickly become just another company that your customers feel can be replaced easily.By being personal and providing timely service, you can reach customers on a more HUMAN level, and thus, play emotional ties.
So Rohit from techCEOprovided a good start in calling out speed and design as key differentiators. However, I feel that adding service is a critical third differentiator. As a startup, it’s important to maintain healthy and communicative feedback system with customers to know what to fine-tune, what to create, what to remove… Speed to deploy and iterate, design for simplicity and usability, and service to maintain and build relationships are the activities that really set startups apart, and should be parts of a sustainable business model.
What are your thoughts about key differentiators? What’s another key differentiator that I may have missed?