Designs of Physical and Digital Products around us – A Raw Perception!
Is this another blog comparing good design and bad design of products? No! I’m just a common man trying to learn UX Design and you know, one should never underestimate the power of a common man 🙂
Well, I’ve just started my design journey with this blog as my very first project which is about a raw observation of everyday products we use, an observation without any preconceived notions and conceptual backing. I haven’t read any books, research papers, or case studies, before writing this blog on purpose, the purpose to deliver an authentic “Raw Perception” to my readers, I just learnt to look at things differently! but after updating the second part of this blog which will be a raw observation of Digital Products coming this Sunday, I’m sure reading this awesome one “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman.
So, while I’m writing this blog what is Good and Bad Design for me in inverted commas? Well, “Good Design for me is any product be it physical or digital that delivers the desired or expected outcome easily, efficiently and pleasantly and a Bad Design is just the opposite!”
Okay, so let’s get started, showcased below are the pairs of five types of physical products I found at my old place, I’ll try and describe their usability in short, but I won’t categorize them as good or bad designs, as our ancestors rightly say “One man’s food can be another man’s poison” so I’ll leave the categorization part for you, Here we go!
So our first pair of physical products are these taps, let me describe how these taps function, I mean, I know you all are smart enough, but that’s something I have promised, a short description of all the products 🙂
On your left is the tap with a thin, short, cylindrical knob, by just rotating it to 90 degrees in a set direction you can adjust the overall flow of water according to your need or requirement smoothly, quickly, and without any hassle.
On your right is the tap with a thick, typical knob with some grooves on it that are meant for resting our fingers while using the tap, to control this you need to rotate the knob multiple times to adjust the flow, at times when your hands are wet or slippery this process becomes a little difficult as you do not get a proper grip of that knob. Don’t you feel the same?
Next on the list are these electric extension boards, one of our most important assets during the lockdown, we could manage our devices efficiently whilst working from home.
So on the left, we see a smaller board with three bigger plug points and multiple USB ports, this one is quite compact, handy, and most importantly eliminates the stress of using mobile charger adapters.
On our right, we have a larger electric board it carries one big plug point and two smaller ones, plus it has the feature to coil its wire inside it. Which one would you prefer?
Here we have a pair of switches both look pretty similar, No?
Well, on our left we have a switch with a big universal plug and little red light on its switch, that lights up and glows red when you turn on the switch.
On our right is a normal set of a plug and switch with a smaller plug and a switch similar to our left but without any red light indication on it. Which one’s better?
A pair of water bottles made with the same material and having a similar storage capacity.
On our left, we have a metal water bottle which can carry around 1 liter of water and has the capability to keep it cool for a longer time or warm if we wish to store some warm water, its shape, where it goes a bit slimmer in middle also adds a good grip, even when the bottle is full and your hands are slippery.
At the right is a similar bottle with a bit different design, it carries the same features as the one in the right, at times when the bottle is full or your hands are slippery you might need to use both your hands to hold it to use properly. Did you notice the usability difference at the first glance?
Last in our list is a pair of books, one of our old school companions, which we still love using and scribbling our ideas upon, with changing times their forms and looks changed, they were further digitized, but we still have at least one, don’t we?
The black one to our left is a 300 pages book, looks quite smart and flexible with the spiral bound and multi-colour book dividers inside make it a nice multi-purpose book, pages inside give enough area to scribble and express.
To the right is another 300 pages book bound with staple pins and a softcover, ideally good for a single subject, but you get a bit less area to scribble upon. Which one would you love to use?
So these were the products which I was able to showcase here, in fact, I had fifteen such physical products which I observed and had different thoughts regarding their design and usability, but I believe the above listed were the best ones to showcase.
However, I hope you had a good read and also hope this blog gave you some different and deep perspective towards things around you, coming Sunday that is 27th June 2021, I’ll be further updating this blog with its second part, which will give us a raw perception towards some digital products or interfaces around, Would you like to read the same? How do you find the digital products you use regularly?