Don Norman is a delightful professorial curmudgeon who collects and publishes examples of good and bad design in books like The Design of Everyday Things and Living with Complexity.
On my walk through the Seattle Ferry terminal yesterday I finally took the time to capture the theater of the absurd when it comes to public safety and add to the collection of bad designs. With all the lawyers that travel between Seattle and Bainbridge Island, I don’t know why somebody hasn’t filed a lawsuit at this crazy lack of common sense on the part of public officials.
Here is the offending bench:
Here is the warning sign placed at eye level for normal height adults – at least 30 feet away from the closest offending bench:
What parent would ever see the sign or think of the danger, until after a child has caught their finger in a hole? For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they don’t just remove the offending benches. I guess common sense isn’t so common anymore.
Haha. I read this book (Design of Everyday Things) for my Microsoft interview and ever since I can’t help but notice such flaws in design every now and then. The greatest example of one is in my car. The AC switch has an LED indicator. Contrary to what one would expect, a small label below the light says AC OFF . So am never sure whether the lit LED means AC on or off. (It actually means AC OFF). This a Mercedes Benz, I don’t know what to expect from anything else.