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🖇️ Consistency is important for good UX
Consistency in design is a very important factor, more pros than cons.
A few days ago, I started stumbled upon a mesmerising building that reminded me of my old passion - architecture. Going forward, I'll be sharing some outstanding examples with you.
Meet the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris (see above). Mesmerising 💟
When explaining the rationale behind your design decisions, one of the common reasons is consistency. NNgroup gives a good summary of why consistency is important in this video.
A few weeks ago, after another design presentation, I started thinking of using a more tangible example of the problems caused by inconsistency. Often, when trying to articulate something from the digital products design world to non-designers, I think real-world examples resonate better with the audience.
So, I started thinking of examples of inconsistency in the design of everyday objects. With an almost non-existing centralized design function in the world, it's not surprising there are so many variations across the same kind of things.
A recent painful example for me is electrical plugs (and voltage). Even if we look at the devices that use the same voltage, the plugs problem is an illustration of the ridiculous lack of consistency that negatively impacts UX. Just adds more headaches and extra expenses when travelling/moving to a country with a different system.
As an additional issue, designers and engineers have to take this inconsistency into account when designing their products.
Here is a voltage converter that I had to buy when we moved from Canada to Luxembourg. They support 3 plugs standards that look completely different (North America+Japan, Europe, and UK). All because the countries' authorities didn't prioritize consistency when making the decision. The stupidity millions of people have to pay for and get frustrated over.
Same with charging cables, measurement systems, languages, and a ton of other examples that make our life more difficult (but sometimes, more interesting, too =)
What are the most annoying inconsistencies for you?
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