Design Critiques

What makes some designs good and others bad? Why do some designs work while others don’t? Posts in this category offer thoughtful design critiques of modern digital interfaces, with commentary inspired by Don Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things.”

Design Critique: Nike Training Club (iPhone app)

Introduction: The Nike Training Club (NTC) app is a fitness application that is designed to help users achieve their fitness goals with the help of guided workouts led by professional trainers and athletes. NTC also offers training plans that include a set of workouts within a specific time frame to target different goals such as …

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Design Critique: Zara Website

Zara is a popular clothing brand that is widely known for its unconventional style and advertisements. However, the original look does come at a cost to usability. In a confusing combo of minimalism and maximalism, Zara’s site presents unique challenges in design.

The image is a mockup of the the Rijksmuseum landing page on a laptop in desktop view.

Design Critique: Rijksmuseum Website

Introduction Rijksmuseum, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is home to many well-known pieces of Dutch art and history, like, The Night Watch painting by Rembrandt van Rijn (1642), The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer (1654–58) and the Vincent van Gogh self-portrait (1889). The collection of art dates back almost 800 years and represents the beauty of Dutch …

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Design Critique: X-Plane Store (Web Interface)

Introduction X-plane store is an online marketplace and community forum for flight-simulation enthusiasts. Built specifically for the flight-simulation software X-plane, this store allows users to purchase and upload add-ons, modifications and other content to improve their flight simulation experience inside the X-plane software. Who is this service for? As per the organization’s ethos, their primary …

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Design Critique: SSENSE

Ssense is a Montreal-based clothing retailer offering high-end streetwear and designer fashion for both men and women. Their website showcases more than 70,000 items from over 500 labels, incorporating new and emerging designers as well as household names like Gucci and Prada. Emphasizing product and editorial, the website is a clean, minimalist design with simple navigational options.

Assistive Technology: GOOGLE LOOKOUT- Assisted vision

Google Lookout, an innovative assistive technology application developed by Google, offers enhanced vision support to individuals facing visual impairments, encompassing blindness and low vision. This free Android app employs the capabilities of AI and image recognition technology to identify objects and read text using the smartphone’s camera, making it an invaluable tool for those with …

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The landing page of Merlin Bird ID app by The Cornell Lab, an open source Bird guide and identifier.

Design Critique: Merlin Bird ID App

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology adopted a clever way to answer the question “What’s that bird?” making the wealth of knowledge in ornithology accessible to the general public. This critique provides user-centric insights on how usable the Merlin Bird ID app is for a user interested in identifying and learning more about birds around them.