This week I’ve been thinking about the role of designers in constructing pathways for a user to follow and what that means for ethical design behavior, among other things. Discussing rhythm and pacing and places for the eye to rest led me to wonder about user fatigue and whether there is a lot of not only ineffectual design, but painful design. I’m certain there are instances where bad design has caused someone to die, although I haven’t researched the topic myself, and there are instances where good design has helped someone improve their life greatly. And, while these extremes might be good for reality television, most discomforts and setbacks are had on ordinary days in banal circumstances.
I’m thinking about design that that grates on a low level over a long period of time and what that might do to someone who must work with it day in and day out. Especially if the user is someone who might be prone to thinking that they are the cause of the irritation – their usage of the bad design caused the failure of satisfaction. That just adds another layer of discomfort.