Everyday Objects – Good vs. Bad UX

My favorite objects are my Westcott transparent rulers. In my opinion, they epitomize good design. I have several and use them daily for pattern drafting and measuring for fabrication.

This ruler is life-changing for the following reasons:

  • Beveled edge – tip of the pen/pencil/knife rests against the edge of the ruler for precise marking and cutting.
  • Measurement starts at the edge of the ruler – there are rulers that start up to 1/8″ from the edge, which I find frustrating and counterintuitive. When working with fussy designers or having to increase/decrease room or length in a garment proportionately, the smallest increments matter. Even though I technically know what certain measurements should look like, those rulers still trip me up from time to time.
  • Transparency – ability to see through the ruler and draw lines relative to other lines on the page is important. Parallel lines are a breeze to draw with these rulers!
  • Thin and lightweight
  • 2″ Grid calibrated to 1/16th of an inch – industry standard measurements.
  • Red gridlines – don’t conflict with pencil and dark pen markings.
  • Flexibility – able to bend and measure curves.
  • Laminated for durability – sometimes for the sake of convenience, we make markings on the ruler itself and as time goes on, we wind up with a marked up ruler and have to replace it. The lamination does not pick up pencil/pen marks.


Frustrating UX

A frustrating user experience I have daily is with my sneakers. The 1609 Adidas Originals ZX Flux ADV are lightweight, well-padded with interior cushioning to conform to the foot and have a sock-like fit. I like the aesthetic and they are great for running and cruising, but the problem is putting them on. I can’t put them on fast. Due to the lightweight material, the heel immediately collapses downwards and the tongue pushes inwards as I inch my foot in. The elegant way to put on this shoe requires me to bend down, hold the tongue in place and use a shoehorn before putting my foot in. I am not an elegant person so I always end up having to fish the tongue out from underneath the laces and pull the topline out from under the heel of my foot.

My solution is to add a heavier padding at the tongue, topline and heel cap to stabilize those areas of the shoe. I never have this problem with my skate shoe (pictured below) precisely because it’s so heavily padded. Ideally, if I can marry the two pairs of shoes, it would solve all my problems and I can own one less pair of sneakers.


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