Identifying Communication Design

Effective Design:

AED Sign
A sign employing the universal defibrillation symbol.

This signage is clear and simple. It displays information that can be interpreted quickly, as its moment of applicability occurs only in emergency. The symbol of a heart with the symbol for electricity signifies the purpose of the sign. The three letters AEB, abbreviating Automatic External Defibrillator, are known by a wide enough slice of the population to be meaningful.

Ineffective Design:

LS-PrePost Screen Shot
A screenshot of a very non-intuitive piece of software

During the summer I was making use of the above piece of software. The interface was awful. Without any prior experience with this program, understanding its functionality, capabilities, and purpose was very difficult. The layout of the various buttons, text fields, and graphical elements made for a nightmarish user experience and hurt productivity. Elements of the interface were truncated beyond comprehensibility. Abbreviations, acronyms, and ambiguous labeling without appropriate documentation made the software unapproachable and frustrating.