Bad Design

Good design makes people want to use something

….or at the very least, is gives intuition the best chance of succeeding.

In other words, the phone rings, you know “what to do”, you pick it.

An old telephone had a single main function - to make and receive telephone calls :)

Fast-forward to today, and you have a versatile, rich, highly developed technology eco-system.

If you are a geek, male, and you live and breath technology, you are well catered for.

The fun starts when you don’t fall into this category.

Say you are an older person, and you feel that technology has passed you by.

Do you have any idea what sort of up-hill battle it will be to get that individual to “engage” (with technology)?

No, let’s stick with the young consumers. Oldies can wait. But hang on, wait a minute…

We will all be old some day, and I don’t want to be trapped by technology.

I want to be able to use technology in a familiar way, just like answering the telephone.

Let me ask you a question - how many older people (do you think) are lonely? Quite alot.

It would be amazing to do something about this. One major step would be to make tech easier to use.

It would allow people to use something like Skype easily. This is not my experience of a smart / mobile phone.

You are deluged by app updates. The user interface is over-complicated. The result is something which is not intuitive to an older person.

Technology does exist to help older people. But it often patronises, or makes “wrong” assumptions.

Technology should not assume the worst. An older person is not a child. The design of technology should not cater for the worst possible scenario.

The worst possible scenario is when you get an old persons alarm installed in your house…

And it’s red, and it has to be located in your lounge. The problems are numerous, but include the colour, yes it’s red, and it shouts “I am a red alarm in your lounge.”

The person (and this is important) doesn’t want to have a sodding red alarm in their front room.

Why can modern technology not learn about good design, usability, kiss (keep it simple….).

If we started adopting these principles, then the hill, I mentioned previously, would be less of a climb, and the lonely people may not be as lonely.

Imagine what it would be like to have smart technology which is easy to use, benefitting, not patronising, but helping people.

It would be amazing.

To make this happen, it’s time that reliability, design, function, and simplicity were applied to technology.

I want this to happen.

Author | Miles Davenport

Career programmer, who designs, assembles, fixes, and supports customers, software and systems.