Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good Design in Practice

I attended the first day of the Web Directions South 2006 conference today. Some of the topics that were covered today were about the design of the web sites and web pages or the design in general. Since I read The Design of Everyday Things by Donal A. Norman (which I mentioned in one of my previous posts about Good Desing) I tend to look at things in a different way. And I also appreciate the good design of the things we use. A thing can have all it needs but if not designed well it will fail as it will be unusable (see the cover of the book and you'll get the idea at least – or read the whole book).

There was one of the things that I use in my everyday life, but only today I realized how brilliantly it was designed. Derek Featherstone has apparently same eye as me as he showed us the photo that he took the day before. It was a photo of

The pedestrian crossing button

How perfect it is! Not only you can see the big white arrow but if your eyesight is impaired you can touch and feel the smaller raised arrow. And that is not all! If you cannot see it, you can hear it ticking when the green light is on. And that still is not all! If you cannot see nor hear, you can still feel it. The button VIBRATES!!! Derek said it at the conference and was all excited about it. I did not believe. I had to touch it on my way home from the conference. It is true! It does vibrate!

How cool is that?! That is a successful design in practice. Way to go designers!

What is next? Well, as a software developer I will focus a bit more on designing the web applications in a way that all people can access them, even if they have some disabilities. Sometimes we go and design things that are cool, but not usable by all of us...

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