A great idea, poorly executed.

These days, everywhere I go I see good ideas executed poorly. Today at the park playground (my dogs like to play there!) I saw a height chart attached to the jungle gym. A great idea, right? Little kids love to see how much they’re growing. But this particular one started at the 3-foot mark and went up to 5’6″.

Most of the kids that play here aren’t even 3 feet tall yet. And I’ve never seen a 5’6″ kid get anywhere near the place. They’re typically sitting at a picnic table smoking. Who designed this chart? Why did this person arbitrarily or consciously choose these particular heights? Does he or she have kids? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

That seems to be case with a lot of design projects. Websites that are difficult to navigate. Signage that goes up with no usability testing. Products that manufacturers say are easy to assemble, but only if you’ve got a Ph.D. in structural engineering.

It makes me wonder why we don’t build more planning, usability and testing time into our process? Maybe it would keep a lot of great ideas from turning into crappy ones.

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