Why did I graduate a year late because of bad design?
Since my high school years, I have been reading on philosophy, psychology, sociology, and culture. I decided to go deeper into these subjects systematically 4 or 5 years ago. I took the “Second University Without Examinations” with Open Education opportunity and started to study philosophy first. Three years later, I started the sociology department. I still enjoy learning. I recommend it to everyone.
Examinations in open education take place on weekends. You learn the place and time of the exam with an exam entrance document like the one below. You print it and be present at the exam venue with your ID 10 minutes before the exam time. If you take a quick look; the data in the document is reasonably sufficient and explanatory. Which time and day the exam will be held for which course is written on it. Everything is in the paper, including details such as the hall number and the sequence number.
So, is there anything in this document that bothers you?
I got up on Saturday morning. I entered the address in the document into Google Maps. I checked the distance from my house. I packed up pencil, eraser, ID, etc. and arrived at the exam site 15 minutes before the exam. Everything was perfect. I took the exam. I finished and left. There were only 3 hours until the exam at 14:00. I went back home.
I started looking through my old notes. As the other hour of exam approached, I entered the second address in the Saturday column into Google Maps. Wonderful! It showed that the venue was only 20 minutes away. The pencil, eraser, ID were all checked. I was at the exam site in 22 minutes, but there was a problem.
The person in charge did not mention my name in the exam hall.
How come? It was impossible. I checked again. My name was not on the list. This exam was the final exam; if I couldn’t take it, I would fail the course. I hastily checked again.
And the brutal truth… The exam times on paper were not prepared according to calendar standards. My Saturday afternoon exam was on the right of the Saturday row, not below the Saturday column. All that work and preparation was wasted. 90% of the misfortune was my carelessness, 10% of it was a bad design; I extended the school for a year.
Of course, I was very angry with myself for my carelessness; on the other hand, I could not forget that an exam entrance document had such a bad design.
I have a claim on the subject; if the exam participation data of the past years were examined, the participation rates of those who take the Open Education Exam for the first time at 14:00 on Saturday will be noticeably lower than the participation rates at other times. Unfortunately, I have no data. We are facing with another “I’m sure, but I can’t prove it” situation. :)
Don’t you think a column structure like the one below would be healthier?
User experience affects every aspect of life. Seeing design as a simple job, not working with experts, lack of improvement steps such as feedback mechanisms and data analysis are the first reasons that come to my mind.
Solution: Identifying problems, establishing mechanisms open to feedback, valuing expertise.
What unthinkable design challenges do you encounter in your daily life?