Olympic uniforms under fire! An experience design ‘hit ‘n miss-take2’

I’m sure that some of you are enjoying the Olympics. Part of the interest besides watching the actual sports is the other spectator sport…the  ‘eye candy’ part 🙂 And that of course means admiring not only the athlete’s form, but their uniforms as well… colors, patterns, whatever that strikes you.

In the last few years, popular fabrics such as lycra have been worn by athletes to shave time off races/events, however sometimes the actual design of such slick exo-skins miss the mark and instead serve to undermine the athlete’s abilities.

At the moment, one point of controversy is the re-design of the American Speed Skating uniform.

Here is the problem:

“The Under Armour uniforms are to blame because, sources said, vents on the backs of the skintight suits meant to let body heat escape actually backfired. Instead of just letting heat out, allegedly, the vents let air in, to create a slight drag effect.” – mashable

Oftentimes, designing requires a fundamental and in this case expert understanding of science and how physics affects the user. One of our co-team peer organizers specializes in performance technology. She will provide us with some valuable insight in the next few months of what to consider when designing in this specialized area.

In the meantime, here is one more article with some rather amusing and racy photos illustrating the problem of AESTHETICS OVER FORM in Olympic Uniforms. And no… it’s not pretty :p

olympic uniform mis-fire“Christopher Spring posted a photo of what he called his “Power Belly” popping out of his too-tight racing suit one day before the event, narrowly avoiding the fate of the British bobsledder before him”fastcodesign




Special Guest Whitney Hess will be joining us in March OR April 2014

It’s confirmed everyone! Special guest and internationally renowned UX Coach & Presenter Whitney Hess has accepted our invitation to come chat with us at our upcoming group meetup either in March or April. (insert applause)

If you don’t know who Whitney is, best to look her up: www.whitneyhess.com

And yes! She is as authentic in communication as she is in her blogs.

Special thanks to Juliana Loh for sharing her ‘secret’ UX “crush”.

Whitney Hess

Whitney Hess has confirmed to chat with us either in March or April 2014


UPCOMING MEETUP: Feb 20 2014 | UX Discussion, Collaboration & Experimentation

Are you a FREELANCER OR a member of a very small team OR have a minimal budget to carry out your UX plans? Got Questions and Answers to SHARE? Then this is the meetup for you!


UX Lite Meetup

By popular demand, we are featuring a Meetup devoted to UX basics suitable for freelancers.

Are you a freelancer with experience to share? Are you hoping to get into UX as a freelancer and have questions to ask? Join us for a question and answer session in an intimate setting. Participants will be limited to 20 people.


• 6:00 Networking

• 6:15: Freelancer Q&A and round table discussion

• 8:00 Wrap up

Light snacks will be provided. Special thanks to PayFirma Financial Corporation for providing catering and meeting space.

NYC’s Touchscreen Subway Maps

New York subway riders first were promised futuristic touchscreen wayfinding maps a year ago. But the plan to install the futuristic infrastructure stalled as the design team took a step back to improve the hardware. Six months overdue, the first batch is finally live in Grand Central Station. They were worth the wait.

Over the last month, the first 18 MTA On the Go kiosks were installed in the Grand Central subway station. Eight of them are split between the uptown and downtown sides of the major 4/5/6 north-south arteries; the other 10 are scattered throughout the mezzanine above that connects the subway to the century-old commuter rail station. (Expect a wider roll out to more stations by the middle of the year.) The screens are basically huge interactive navigation centers, which serve real-time up information about how to get where you’re going, and what (inevitable) service disruptions might get in the way.

A definite “miss” Apple/Twitter: Two BIG thumbs DOWN

Scenerio: You’re surfing on your iPad. You click a link that you like. You try to save a picture because maybe you might want to share it with everyone on your website…and then… BAM! This thing pops up!

Where is the option to say ‘no’?

So you try to get OUT of the program but then you realize that you CAN’T! And essentially, you’re forced to shut down and reboot. Really Apple? Really Twitter? When was the LAST time an app caused *you* to reboot?

Lesson: Don’t be presumptuous. NEVER take your users for granted and do NOT take away their right to choose.

The new Parking meters – Hit or Miss?

parking meter

The new Parking meters: Is it a Hit or a Miss?

If you’ve been to Stanley Park or many of the new parking lots, you’ll be greeted by these fancy new Parking Meters. Ever try them? What do you LIKE about them? Where do you see AREAS of OPPORTUNITY to improve? If you are having challenges, where are they?

Essentially, this meter asks you to:

  1. choose the number of hours you want to park
  2. add your licence plate number
  3. make your payment

Does it do the job? What would YOU improve?

Scrolling Headaches – Van City Hall

Opportunities for Improvement in UX Design/Interface 

UX and interface design isn’t easy and sometimes things go amiss. The other day I was trying to add my name to a newsletter list on the Van City Hall site on my iphone but it was a frustrating experience.

1. I read the main parts of the content on my iphone and it looked interesting … but i found that the information cut off as I tried to navigate around the page thus making it hard to read all of it.

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2. I was asked to include the usual contact information except I couldn’t because I was unable to see what the requirements on the left hand side was. I found myself trying to slide the information right and left.

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3. Even if the information was added, I realized that I could not see the submit button and therefore could not press it.

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WHAT would YOU DO to ensure that people who want to join your newsletter list experience a better responsive design experience? Let us know.

Welcome to our UX Design Therapy Meetup Blog

Hey world. So it’s 2014 and we’ve come a long way from our first meetup which was held at the Railway Club on May 9, 2013. Our group started with 4 members and has now swelled to over 140 enthusiasts. We’ve also had 7 meetups throughout 2013 with more planned on the horizon.

Our official Meetup page is: UX DESIGN THERAPY MEETUP

Our Twitter Page is: https://twitter.com/UXdesigntherapy or @UXdesigntherapy

We’d like to thank PayFirma Financial Corporation for sponsoring us, for recognizing the essential role UX plays in our interactive environments and for offering us the perfect home-base for investigation and discourse. Here is their location: Payfirma map

Krispian, Fraser, David, Juliana and Kai