Looking for design in Barcelona

by | Thursday, February 02, 2012

Readers of this blog know that I am always looking for examples of good / bad design (actually I am usually not looking for bad design – it just sort of comes and slaps me on the side of the head!). I thought I might share one with you today, that I found in my hotel room in Barcelona. First off here is  what it looks like.

Rather cool don’t you think? Well, as always, there is more…

However, as I began to use it, I found it frustrating and difficult for a range of reasons.

First, it was hard to put the phone back on the stand in the dark – the cool “perch” required precise placement – not something you can do easily while barely awake.

Second, the buttons (apart from the numbers for dialing) had these cryptic icons that made no sense. This of course meant that the hotel had to provide a “manual” to “teach” us how to use the phone (and you know, from a previous posting, what I think of user-manuals).

And finally, the numbers to make obvious phone calls (front desk, manager etc.) were quite non-obvious. Why ask guests to dial 31 or 32 to reach the front desk? Why not just “1” for the front desk (just as they had “0” for dialing out). And what is the distinction between 31-32 and 41/42? Does the hyphen mean something different from the slash? How many digits are there between 31 and 32 anyway to deserve a hyphen?

Final verdict on the phone, nice piece of visual design – no so much from a user-interface perspective. As they say, good from far and far from good!

Topics related to this post: Uncategorized

A few randomly selected blog posts…

John McCain, RIP

John McCain, RIP

• • • • • • • • •John Sidney McCain IIIAugust 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018 The above image is a visual / typographic representationof one his favorite quotesfrom For whom the bell tolls,by Ernest Hemingway Image © punyamishra

Cheating in a test, why that’s the way to go

I just read this wonderful essay by UCLA professor Peter Nonacs titled: Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Game Theory Exam. In this essay he describes an experiment he recently conducted in his game theory class. This is what he told his students a week before the...

Deconstructing TV news

The video below has been getting a lot of attention on the blogs lately, and despite that it is pretty good. No kittens riding skateboards or mentos and Coke here. Just a beautifully constructed take down of TV News. A must see for all media literacy courses. Check it...

Transplanted Man

I just finished reading Transplanted Man by Sanjay Nigam. A strange but entirely fascinating and satisfying novel with quirky and interesting characters. Nigam is quite willing to tackle difficult and "big" questions but does it with a light touch. I had read his...

Education in a pandemic: A crisis & opportunity

Education in a pandemic: A crisis & opportunity

Last year I was in Israel to present at the Meital Conference. When I was there I was interviewed by Lior Detal, the education correspondent for TheMarker - which led to an article in the magazine. Earlier this year, once the COVID crisis was in full swing, I was...

Scrivener vs. Writer

A NYTimes article on word-processing versus writing (or scrivenering??): An interface of one's own. What stood out was this description of writing being more than just the putting of words on a screen -- but rather of seeing it this complex, often non-linear...

TPACK Newsletter #24, August 2015

TPACK Newsletter, Issue #24: August 2015 Welcome to the twenty-fourth edition of the (approximately bimonthly) TPACK Newsletter! TPACK work is continuing worldwide. This document contains recent updates to that work that we hope will be interesting and useful to you,...

Goldbach is back! New math poem

I guess once the bug bites, it never really lets go. So here's another poem (to follow this and this and this). As it turns out this is my second poem on the Goldbach Conjecture. I realized after I had written the first one that I had actually messed up the history a...

Not so Cuil

I was just trying out Cuil the new search engine and came up with some strange results. This is what the front page looks like, rather dark for my liking, but again they had to do something different from Google's stark white front page. if you click on the "About...

3 Comments

  1. Nick W

    Oh wow, that really is quite a bad design. Maybe they actually did not want anyone to use the phone.

    Reply
  2. Randall@ipad apps development

    Nice example of the situation when design prevails convenience. But in my view a regular hotel room is not a proper place for such showpieces.

    Reply
  3. Paula

    The visual design is also far from good I think

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *