Monday, March 14, 2016

Plagued By Bad Design, Still

Design, from websites to cities to forks, is so important, all around us, and so easy to get right--but also easy to get wrong in some cases. Here's one that was easy to get right, but the designers and people who approved it still got it wrong (don't they even test these things?).

The NYC MTA information/help audio posts found in many subway stations have two words, and two buttons, as you can almost see in the first photo. Except that the second button is really hard to see (although this photo unintentionally made it worse than usual, but it's still pretty bad).

Actual info post thing.

There are two overall problems, which you can see a little in the below photo.

  1. The physical placement of the words in relation to the buttons. 
  2. The color of the buttons. 
At first glance it looks like there is one Emergency Information button. But there is a second, dark, button there. But the word Information is closest, out of both words, to the red button, and the red button is closest to the word Information. So the red button and the word Information must have some relationship.

They don't.

Notice the yellow lines are longer than the blue line.

Clearly, the Information button should be easier to see, and the two words and their actual buttons should be visually obviously related, that is, by distance (although you could also do color). One solution would look like this:
Much better!
I don't even have a degree in design. This isn't rocket science.