Ironhack’s Prework: Design in Daily Life

Learning about design, I realized that it surrounds us in our daily life, whether you’re aware of it or not. An app is design, a website is design and even a simple door is design ! That’s why I wanted to do the exercise of analyzing some of my experiences and see why they are good or bad according to the Design principles.

To start in a good mood, I want to share with you, 3 positive designs I’ve encountered:

Mobile app : Dice

The first time I had to use the Dice app was a year ago. I was in a bar with my friends and after, we wanted to go see a show at the Wanderlust. 2 hours before the show, we decided to buy our tickets. We downloaded the app Dice and at first sight, everything was accessible! I automatically knew how to search and book a ticket, the payment was swift and effortless thanks to Google Pay. To attend the show, I only had to present a QR code on my phone. In less than 5 minutes I had my ticket / on my phone / with no trouble at all. Even 1 year after that experience, I still talk about it!

Mobile app : Camscanner

Camscanner is a mobile app that helps you photograph a document (any document) and automatically adjusts the photograph to make it look like you scanned it properly. Lighting, adjustment of the photograph, crop, resize and so many other options are possible. Since I discovered this app, I never used a scanner again! It’s very intuitive to use and the document you download at the end has a better quality than a scan. The only flaw I can mention is that you can sometimes feel overloaded with information and possibilities (ID card, Document, multiple pages document… / crop, resize, quality, OCR…) in a single screen.

Decathlon : click and collect

As many other stores, Decathlon offers you the option to be delivered when you purchase an item online, or to withdraw it yourself, in a store of your choosing. That’s the choice I made a few weeks ago. The flow of buying an item was usual for a website but when picking my delivery method, the choice was made very simple with a zip code search! In an instant, I had the visibility of the stores, the opening times, the address (…) to help me pick my store. When paid, I received an email telling me when my item will be available. The process was surprisingly fast when I went to retrieve it: I only had to go to the store reception and in less than 5 minutes, I was out of the store with my purchase!
The only flaw I could mention is that the email wasn’t very clear about when I could pick up my order but since the process is so efficient, it wasn’t a problem.

To analyze the experiences more properly, here are my evaluations according to the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design of Jakob Nielsen :

3 Good experiences evaluated with the 10 Usability Heuristics

Now, let’s see some bad experiences and why they were bad :

Disneyland : queuing up

When you go to Disneyland you already expect queuing time. It’s known by everyone, you will wait a lot of time to get in the attraction. To cope with that pain point, Disneyland displays signs everywhere in the park, with waiting times. They also developed an app that gives you that same information and prevents you from running everywhere to go see the signs. The flaw about those solutions is that the information displayed is not well updated and sometimes not even true ! You see 40 minutes but as a regular, when you see people at a certain point in the queue, you know that it’s more than 40 minutes. Conversely, sometimes you see 5 minutes but when you arrive at the attraction it’s closed because of an incident (thus the 5 minutes). And it’s so frustrating! That’s why I consider queuing up at Disneyland a real pain, not because of the queue up in itself, but because the means applied to help you with that, are not even functioning.

Mobile app : Easyjet

I usually book flights because my family lives abroad and the cheapest flights to Portugal are from Easyjet. That’s why I installed the mobile app to get the prices and tickets easily on my phone. Well that’s what I thought… Looking for a flight is a pain ! You enter your city but the auto completion barely works; the app never recalls your previous or frequent searches; when you want to modify something you go back to the start of the process and you have to fill in the information all over again… Nothing here is done to help you compare and choose a flight in an effortless way — you always have to remember things to do it again. The only thing keeping me from deleting the app is that Easyjet has the cheapest flights… not a great user value, huh ?

Fedex Delivery

Finally, here is another bad experience I had with a delivery made by Fedex. I made an order on the Cosabella website a few weeks ago and since it came from Italy, I was expecting a longer delivery time. But… 3 weeks after my order, I received an email from Cosabella claiming that I refused the delivery from Fedex. I tried calling Fedex but the phone number in the email never responded. I had to contact Cosabella to tell them the situation and give them the proof that I could have never refused a delivery. The bottom line is that deliveries are part of my worst user experiences (Fedex, Colis Privé, or even La Poste). You never really know when your delivery is due (from 8am to 6pm… Really ?); sometimes they lie; you can barely call someone to explain your situation and you have no help when something goes wrong… If I could, I wouldn’t use their service anymore.

To analyze the experiences more properly, here are my evaluations according to the 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design of Jakob Nielsen :

To conclude with this experience, I realized that bad experiences are usually easy to remember but the good ones aren’t that much because (according to Dieter Rams) a good design is as little design as possible and humble. Thus, it’s understandable that good things are always the hardest one to acknowledge since it was so “natural” for you. Doing this exercize helped me put words upon my experiences and analyze what makes them good or bad except from my personal feelings ! It’s constructive and useful in my journey of becoming a Designer :)

Product Designer in Paris, I’ve been designing digital products for 8 years. Each solution designed is a passionate work dedicated to be relevant and innovative