Tag Archives: Health

Poor Design

Wrong Number

Julianne Moore on the verge of death from unknown toxins.  A still from Safe, a movie by Todd Haynes which was described by many critics as
Julianne Moore on the verge of death from unknown toxins.  A still from Safe, a movie by Todd Haynes which was described by many critics as “The Best Film of the Decade”.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=63NPIiCl3zo

Like something out of a dystopian alternate reality, dialing one digit incorrectly as you lie poisoned on the floor desperately trying to call the national poison hotline… will promptly connect you to elite professionals who actually cater to fantasies involving you poisoning yourself.

Well, that in itself would probably be poor design, and on many, many levels at that, but we live in the free world, thankfully, and so we’re going to focus on a very narrow aspect of this find.  To explain, let’s first observe that the number for the national poison hotline is 1-800-222-1222.

Page 286 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.
Page 286 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.

Now, before we reveal who owns 1-800-222-2222, it might be good to recap some previous action.  I have been reading a book titled First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced.  And recently I started Chapter 18.  It’s all about poisoning.  Page 289 really gets into it:

Page 289 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.
Page 289 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.

Now for the big reveal.  After Googling 1-800-222-2222, I found out that that number actually belongs to Caesar’s Entertainment, of Las Vegas fame.  Practically the very first thing I saw on their website?

www.totalexperiences.com/TotalExperiences/#/2
www.totalexperiences.com/TotalExperiences/#/2

OK, it may be poetic or humorous in a dark sense, but again the point of poor design lies somewhere else; truly, Caesar’s is free to run their business however they like, and we are free to slowly (or quickly) kill ourselves with alcohol.  What’s definitely poor design is this: Why didn’t the U.S. government just buy out and/or commandeer that number from Caesar’s?  I have no idea how that’s done or what the official term for it even is, but the government commandeers a lot of stuff; they take stuff like land and pay the owner fair value for it.  Plus, phone numbers are almost like a public utility.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the government already had a certain degree of control over them.

And so, who is going to remember that number for national poison hotline, as opposed to 1-800-222-2222?  Although the phone numbers differ by only one digit, the all-2s number is a million times easier to remember.  Having things that are easy to remember is important.  Having them be easy to remember for emergency situations is absolutely critical.

Well then, the clear runner-up image from the Caesar’s website:

www.totalexperiences.com/TotalExperiences/#/4 A woman has been "kissed" by either the sun's, or a tanning bed's, extremely toxic and eventually lethal UV rays.   (A staggering 1 in 5 Americans will eventually contract skin cancer.   www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts/myths-vs-facts)
www.totalexperiences.com/TotalExperiences/#/4  A woman has been “kissed” by either the sun’s, or a tanning bed’s, extremely toxic and eventually lethal UV rays.  (A staggering 1 in 5 Americans will eventually contract skin cancer.  www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts/myths-vs-facts)

Page 150 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.
Page 150 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.

Maybe what’s even more humorous, if you think about it, is how Las Vegas locals are given special discounts for all this stuff.

www.totalexperiences.com/TotalExperiences
www.totalexperiences.com/TotalExperiences

Poor Design

Competing Classification Systems

I’ve been reading First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced.  Overall, the book has been pretty clear, but there have been a few exceptions. Page 95 (below) is one of them.

Page 95 of First Aid, CPR and AED Advanced, Sixth Edition.

This page messes with my mind.  To me, it’s just like that mildly annoying color-related brain teaser that tries to trick your brain – which apparently is well documented and called the Stroop Effect.

In this flowchart, when the designer(s) decided which of the two choices (‘Yes’ or ‘No’) should be green and which should be red, they adopted the very common classification system where ‘Yes’ is green and ‘No’ is red.  However, they overlooked the context of the diagram, and specifically, what ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ indicate.

In this diagram ‘Yes’ means the victim has a head injury or has significant breathing problems.  My mind wants that to be colored red because it conveys a huge negative.  This classification system ought to trump the more basic one.  It’s more aligned with how my mind works.  Maybe if you’re a real Yes/No-oriented person, you see it the other way.

http://www.archimedes-lab.org/Stroop_test.html
http://www.archimedes-lab.org/Stroop_test.html