To help readers apply the ideas from the book into their own world, the book includes a checklist for everyone. Anyone can use it to think about any designed thing: a product, a place or a service. The goal is to help people think more critically about design, and to facilitate better design discussions.
Beta testers wanted: Try out the checklist! Pick an object, write up your answers and report back (leave a comment or email). How can the checklist be made more useful or interesting for readers? (strongly prefer feedback from after you’ve used it – thanks 🙂
Constraints: the goal is for this to fit on a single page, so it’s easy to copy and use.
How to use this checklist: Pick any product, place or service that’s nearby, so you can look at it and use it. Maybe a street intersection, a kitchen appliance or a new mobile app. Take a minute to study how it looks and works. Then answer the following questions.
- When it was made, what were they trying to improve?
- Who were they trying to improve it for?
- How successful were they?
- Is it clear what it does? Is easy to learn? Does it work reliably?
- What hidden constraints could explain its weaknesses?
- Who paid for it? Who profits from it?
- Who were the powerful people who influenced the design?
- Did people come first, or a technology, or an organization?
- What message is it’s style sending to you?
- Who is included or excluded from participating?
- What systems is this design a part of? Are those systems working well?
- Where in another place, or in the natural world, is there a better design?
- Does this design create flow or conflict?
- What new problems does this design create if it’s successful?
- What are you going to do about all of this? (If in doubt, start a conversation.)
- Make a google/online doc
- Include a photo of what you studied. Plus your answers.
- Add a link so I can check it out.
- Did each question make sense? How could they be made clearer?
- What important question was missing?
- Was this fun or interesting? How could it be more engaging?
Sample: here’s a test version I did using my office chair as “the design”