The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

September 28, 2007

Designers Who Don’t Get It – Part 1

Filed under: Design — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:34 pm

One of the things I see a lot of in the course of my wanderings is bad and/or questionable design.  In a lot of  cases, it can’t be helped (this is usually because there’s some perpetually clueless manager out there running the show and telling them what to do.)  On the other hand, there are times when it’s clear that someone is overpaid and out of touch with reality, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  As I see examples of this on a regular basis, I plan to make occasional posts chronicling these examples of questionable design.

 First up, we have a promotional display for the line of PGA Tour licensed apparel made by Perry Ellis and sold at JCPenney.  See if you can spot what’s wrong with this picture:

…But not good enough to keep the approach shot out of the bunker, it would seem.  Here it’s also interesting to note that in spite of the PGA Tour branding used for these items, most of the items in the line do not actually have any visible PGA branding, which is rather unusual for licensed items.  Given the fact that few of us aspire to play golf professionally (or in my case, adequately) I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

Second, we have this, seen in the window of MNG by Mango, another of the many interchangable and seriously overpriced womens’ fashion stores at Bellevue Square:

Call me crazy, but I don’t forsee this becoming the hottest new fashion trend anytime soon.  They already tried this style (or something resembling it)  with Catholic Rosaries back in the Middle Ages, but the people responsible for that particulat example were more interested in punishing people who fell asleep in church than they were in following the latest fashion trends.  As long as we’re on the subject of bad design, this particular store’s website   provides a textbook example of mystery meat navigation, and a CPU-melting full screen Flash UI.  I’ve got to give them a couple points back for the Roomba in the corner though, even though it might have just been left over in the backroom from the Brookstone store which used to occupy this particular space in the mall.

Finally, we come to this display in the window of the mall’s Puma store, representin’ the old school and not doing a particularly good job of it::

I’m not even sure where to start with this one.  First of all, the TVs look exceptionally fake, almost as if some designer Googled for pictures of old TVs, couldn’t quite figure out how they worked, and decided that the knob on the front was there just for decoration. The “rabbit ears” in the back are made of clear plastic, and look a whole lot less convincing in real life than they might seem from this picture (and if you were watching Yo! MTV Raps in the first place, you’d have cable and wouldn’t need to use the TV’s antenna anyway, unless you were bumming videotapes off your friends.)  What’s even more puzzling, however, is the “TV” on top, which is displaying a video loop on what appears to be about a 6″ LCD screen embedded in the middle of the fake TV.  Not only that, but what appears to be the controls for this LCD are embedded in the middle of the TV screen as well.  I don’t remember ever having a TV with the controls in the middle of the screen, do you?

More examples of questionable design as I find and collect them.  I suspect it shouldn’t take long…

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