Friday, May 16, 2008

Thinking through signage & labelling

When you don't think it through, you get terrible design like this: This is out at the Olathe Medical Center. You can see the building from over a mile away. And since the roads are... odd... its nice to be able to navigate by just making your way to the building. However, these ("The Doctors Building") are not really labeled. Huge letters, but cleverly arranged not just behind trees, but behind a corner (the main approach is right of center in this image). And then, to make sure its awful, give the right margin, oh.... ZERO gutter. I wonder how many ems that is? Simply putting this up a floor, not to mention left 40 feet, would have made it a much more useful sign, for the several thousand it surely cost. On the other hand, there is this: It's a Shred-It truck. These come to your office, the guy wheels bins of paper (usually locked bins, with a slot to put paper in) to the truck, and shreds them on site (so you don't have to worry about movie spies stealing the truck and looking at your papers, I guess). They usually have a little window in the side of the storage area so you can see that indeed, its full of shredded paper. If it comes in the morning, you can watch it fill up. So, clearly, they have thought through the experience. And for the newer fleet, with the side doors, someone thought "most of the time the truck is in front of the office, it will have the door open." And they put their branding on the inside of the door, so the truck looks the same whether open or closed. That is experience design.

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