Saturday, January 25, 2014

Infant Bath Tubs: A Study in Usability

See this?  You don't want warning labels to look like this.  Here's what's wrong:
  1. It's not scannable.  You want important information to be as easy to scan as possible; otherwise, people might not read it.
  2. It doesn't convey much meaning.  The capitalized words don't say much of anything—"drowned," "always," and "never."  The user is thinking, "Yes, yes—there are things I should always and never do, but those things are hard to read!"  Which brings me to my third point:
  3. It's not readable.  The important information should be in large font, so there's no question the user can read it.
There are ways to fix this, of course.  The company could use illustrations of people using the tub the way it's supposed to be used, or they could use illustrations of people using the tub the wrong way and put an "X" on top.  OR the company could just easily rearrange the words, increase the fonts, and take out the first sentence.  Like this:

WARNING—Drowning Hazard
·         Keep infant within adult’s reach.
·         Keep the drain open in the adult bath tub or sink.
·         Never lift this product with infant in it.
·         Never place this product in water in an adult bath tub or sink.

See?  That's pretty much what user experience researchers and designers do.  That's what I wanna do.  For a job.  Right now.

Thing I'm thankful for: babies taking naps!


Blogger cardlady said...

You're so smart! Hope you get a job in exactly what you want to do, Soon.
Love you Sara

11:08 PM  
Blogger Amy Stone said...

I don't use a baby bath - I just hold baby Jay in the tub. What should my warning signs be? :)
I miss you and I love your blog!

3:07 PM  

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