Jonathan Brun

Relaxing when late for a flight

Flying out of Hong Kong is an amazing experience. You hop on a bullet train downtown and before you know it, you are whisking past rice paddies to the airport. Travelling is stressful, especially when you are a bit late. Waiting for a train to take you to your flight has a certain element of unknown to it – When will the train arrive? How long will it take? Will I make my flight?

Coming down the escalators at the train station, you see an amazing sign that truly does comfort you. The sign reminds you to relax, a train will be there in a couple of minutes. All airports should have some equivalent sign – for example, at the security check-in where lines can stretch quite long.  Brilliant!

Published on July 9, 2010

Keep urinals clean on the cheap

In light of my promise to show some great design that has a big impact, here is a urinal.

I took this photo in the Copenhagen Airport (I think). Basically, the urinal has a little fly printed at the exact spot that, if peed on, leads to the least amount of spillage. This makes cleaning up much easier and less frequent – saving money and improving sanitation. Brilliant design that costs absolutely nothing. Of course, men being the simple beasts that we are, always aim for the fly.

Published on July 6, 2010

Globe and Mail Website Redesign

I work in environmental law, but I am also a web designer. Designing for the internet and it’s wide variety of users is very challenging, no one does it perfectly. That being said, it is becoming indispensable to design websites well. Users have many places to go for information, if you do not design well, they will just click on out of there. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s premier newspaper just redesigned their website and my verdict is: Disaster.

The previous version was not amazing, but this is truly a mess.

Below is a screenshot and here are a few notes. My main complaints, as a web designer and usability professional are:

1. Four!, different ways to navigate the site (see blue lines). More is not better, it is confusing.
2. Hideous banner as the first thing you see. I understand the need for advertising revenue, but this comprimises the entire reader experience – thus reducing readership and advertising. (see red lines)
3. Red headlines and Black headlines – consistency?
4. Red lines to seperate articles – drawing your attention to the lines instead of the articles
5. Confusing search options
6. Over 10 unique colours on the various design elements – 3 or 4 is the maximum.
7. Drop down menues where the top link acts as a link! It should only trigger the drop down or don’t do a drop-down.

I could go on. But, largely, this redesign looks like it was done on a small budget with no high quality designers. The Newspaper industry is dying because of bad design, see our post on saving newspapers through great design.

The best use of the internet to deliver newspapers is the recently released New York Times Reader (not the website). It is a truly well designed software that makes reading online as pleasurable as the print format.

The Globe and Mail is destroying it’s credibility with this low quality production.

Globe and Mail Highlighted

Globe and Mail Highlighted

Published on May 21, 2009