Alan Cooper says (Among others) that good GUI design is not necessarily referring to software. A good design shows in usability and practicality. For example, Here's an alarm clock similar to the alarm clock we have near our bed.
Among other things, this clock has a night-light feature, meaning you can see what time it is even during night time. Cool. But here’s a design flaw: The little light bulb that lights up when you hit the magic button is located on the upper-right corner of the clock (In the picture, the little hand points directly to the bulb’s location). Why is that a bad design decision you ask? Well, try to think about it a little.
The most likely time in which I would press this button is on two occasions:
· It’s the middle of the night and I want to see what time it is
· I want to set the alarm when I’m already in bed (We don’t have a light switch near the heads of the bed)
It’s the second purpose I’m having trouble with. You see, Most folks usually set their alarms to around 6-7 AM. Now, the little hand that points at the alarm time is rusty-copper kinda colour. The trouble is the light from the bulb is so weak, you can’t clearly see where exactly the alarm hand is pointing at. You can barely see the beginning of it, but the tip is lost. You have to twiddle and twist in your bed in funny positions in order to make out the correct time.
The solution is simple:
- Either put on the bulb near the lower left of the clock
- Or put another bulb in there
- Or Make the original bulb stronger
- Or make the hand that points the alarm easier to see in the dark
On another design note:
Have you ever thought why your steering wheel has holes inside it?
Think what would happen if you didn’t –
You wouldn’t be able to see all the gauges and speed dials, would you? :)
(Yes, I'm aware that it's also there to have a hold of the wheel, but did you think of my reason..?)