Monday, March 09, 2009

Disorienting orientation

It took me a while to figure out why I felt so disoriented looking at the maps. The map on the right is oriented such that South is UP, while the map (of the same place) on the left is oriented such that West is UP. While standing in front of the maps, the reader is actually facing approximately South-East! It was as if someone was trying to confuse me on purpose.

Both maps are oriented poorly enough by themselves. Maps normally have North as UP; or the direction in which the reader is facing as UP. And when the two maps are placed side by side ... the result is worse. Obviously nobody bothered to consider the actual impact on the poor user.

What an expensive shopping mall (Elements)! But what a terrible design - from the user’s point of view! The designers really should take our subject on User Interface Design!

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