When “Good” Design #Fails Badly

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Worst Practices  |  Research and Analysis

ShampooI wake up, bleary-eyed from mild jetlag associated with a three-hour time change plus one more glass of red wine the evening before than I should have had. The Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel that the conference organizer put me in beautiful and comfortable. I let the warm shower ease me into the morning. But then, rats! I can’t read the damned little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

When people get into the shower, they don’t have glasses on!!  

I’m of the age that I need reading glasses. So do most of my similar-aged friends.

Why does this silly hotel chain get so many design details right but mess up something simple like the font size of the miniature shower bottles? I can read the brand name of the product without glasses but not what’s contained inside.

Yes, I know I’m ranting about a first world problem here. It’s not a big deal, right?

Well, it is kind of a big deal because Marriott Luxury Collection Hotels are very expensive. My room was over $600 a night.

The properties are well thought out in so many ways.  But this one little issue can throw off the entire experience.

Why not make the font for the words “SHAMPOO”, “CONDITIONER”, and “BODY WASH” as large as “LE CHEMIN”?  Shouldn’t the most important words on the bottle, what is actually contained in it, be the largest font? 

My local health club does this. What’s inside the bottle is written in: 

H U G E   L E T T E R S

I think this silliness happens because some designer somewhere doesn’t like how the package looks with user friendly writing. It messed up their lovely design.

Design only works when it serves the customer. Not when it is simply “art”.

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