Every time I see one

Every time I see one of the Palm Beach Ballots, I think of office building doors I can’t tell whether to push or pull, I think of my keychain having three identical keys that I have to go through each time I open my apartment door, office door, or brother-in-law’s house, and I think of gas pumps that take a while to figure out how to engage and “start” them. They’re everyday instances of poor design.

We all experience them every day of our lives, but what baffles me is seeing things like this and getting joke emails calling Palm Beach voters “retards that were too stupid to vote.”

Are these people forgetting what bad design does to our lives everyday? Do these people never hit the wrong button on their microwave ovens? Can they figure out how the shower works at every house, hotel, and apartment they’ve ever been in? When they rent a car, do they just jump in and drive, finding the lights, turn signals, radio, and wipers easily?

Do the people discounting Palm Beach voters as stupid lack compassion? Do they have a problem understanding voter’s frustration with the interface? Or is their judgement clouded by their politics?

Politics aside, a bad interface is a bad interface. If the tables were turned, and Bush lost key votes in the state, I wouldn’t support a Gore FL state win.