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#DesignForward Day 2 – Illuminating Usability

A Journey Beyond the Light Switch

Welcome to Day 2 of my December of #DesignForward series, where this weekend we shift our focus to wellbeing and nurturing creativity – the pillars we promised to explore. ✨ 

Today, we’re delving into the often overlooked yet crucial concept of usability and how it impacts our daily lives. From the simplicity of a light switch to the intricacies of course design, join us in uncovering how usability plays a key role in enhancing our well-being and fueling our creative spirits.

Dive into today’s discussion for insightful perspectives on making life both simpler and more innovative.

Pause & Ponder: A Visual Usability Challenge

Before diving into our discussion, let’s try an interactive exercise.

Stop reading for a moment [ Well after you finish reading this section that is! ] and take a good look at the picture of the light switch provided.

What’s the first thought that strikes you? Consider its placement, accessibility, and how it fits into your daily routine.

Ponder on these questions and once you’ve formed your initial impressions, return and continue reading for a deeper exploration.

The Light Switch Dilemma: A Case Study in Everyday Usability

Let me paint a familiar picture: Navigating from the kitchen to the family room with hands full, only to encounter the awkwardly placed light switch. It’s a trivial yet telling example of usability, or the lack thereof, in daily life.

Why does this seemingly insignificant detail matter? Let’s dive deeper.

My Reality: A Balancing Act in the Dark

Imagine this – balancing delicious treats in darkness, using limbs in unconventional ways to operate a light switch. This scenario, humorous as it may seem, underscores a fundamental flaw in design thinking.

Where should the light switch have been placed for optimal usability?

A Reflection on Design Choices: User-Friendly vs. Cost-Saving

This experience leads to an important question:

  • What drives the placement of something as simple as a light switch?
  • Is it cost-saving or user convenience?

Here’s where a little foresight could have made a significant difference.

Bridging the Gap: From Light Switches to Course Design

Why relate a light switch scenario to online course design?

It’s a vivid reminder to view your course through the lens of a first-time user. Is the path clear and intuitive, or does it feel like fumbling in the dark? This approach is the cornerstone of my client strategy.

Taking Action: Your Turn to Explore and Share

As you plan your strategies for 2024, consider starting with a simple yet effective usability review. I encourage you to step into your users’ shoes and share your findings.

How can small changes lead to significant improvements in user experience?

Stay tuned for more from my #DesignForward series. Remember, great usability is the key to unlocking exceptional experiences.