A Treadmill in Action

One problem that I have with treadmills are that they are simply boring. You literally stand on a moving belt, and run in place. I think a good redesign of a treadmill would be the additional of a screen, with a simulation of running somewhere, to someplace.

This is already done with the bicycle machines. There are many ‘simulators’ where people ride bikes to exercise, but at the same time steer the stationary bike and view their actions through a connected screen. A similar approach could be used to redesign the treadmill. There could be a screen on the treadmill, with the simulation of a character running through different sceneries, to provide interaction.

This way, it won’t just be exercise. It will be exercise linked to a game, which would make people want to exercise more.


Redesign of Apple Mail

One app that I use a lot that I feel like requires some work would be Apple’s default Mail application. Email is essential to our daily lives, and and app that is opened multiple times a day should have both a great user interface and user experience.

The mail app is not half bad, but it could definitely be easier to navigate. As of now, there are two ways to access the email of a particular account. You can click on the account in the “Inbox” section and access the account’s inbox, or you can click in the actual “Accounts” section to access the entire account’s email. This includes the sent, outbox, junk, and spam folders.

Apple should redesign the application with a certain hierarchy so that it is easily navigable. Each account button should access the entirely of that account, not just the inbox. There should only be one way to do things, so that users do not get confused when trying to use the application.

I believe that this would be of huge benefit to everybody, except for those who are used to Apple’s current Mail application. People that use it regularly may not particularly like a redesign, because they are used to what already exists.

Keeping Track of Money

Pretty much like every other person in the world, I love to spend money. However, it is hard to keep track of how much I’m spending. There should be an application, much like Mint.com’s mobile app, that allows me to keep track of how much money I spend. It could be very simple, with a very simplistic user interface.

The application I imagine would have just two pages: one for the form, and one for the list of expenditures that I have incurred. I myself would find the application very useful, but I am not entirely sure about others. It would take a lot of diligence to keep up to date, but in my opinion would be worth it. Every time I spend money, I would record it in the application, and it would server as a sort of personal digital checkbook.

Dishwashers With Too Many Buttons

Dishwashers are complicated. A machine that is supposed to simplify your life should not be complicated. New technology means new options, and new dishwashers have many options. There are just too many buttons on new dishwashers, and that has to change.

It is true that technology has simplified life, but in some cases, technology has also complicated life. Take a look below at this high-tech dishwasher.


Photo courtesy ofnewyorkrenovator.com

As you can see, there are a multitude of buttons. There are led lights, buttons, and even a screen on the dishwasher. Dishwashers are supposed to do just one thing- wash dishes for you. Why must there be so many options? Dishwashers should really only have three buttons: Wash, Rinse, and Dry. That way, nobody will be confused when trying to operate a dishwasher.

Unburned Toast

Personally, I use a toaster every morning. One problem that I have with toasters is the fact that the subtle dial determines whether or not your toast is edible.

Toasters are great, but I feel like the dial could be more protruding, to create emphasis on how important it is. If you were to toast something on the ‘1’ setting vs the ‘5’ setting, the differences are massive.

Example (the dial is usually ignored by users):


Photo courtesy of appliancist.com

The toaster at my house is used by multiple people, with multiple preferences in levels of toast burn-age. The setting that the toaster is on should be much more apparent, so users stop ignoring the importance of the dial.

Slide Card Readers

One problem that I tend to have is in regards to slide cards. Specifically on campus, slide cards only work one way, and are slid vertically. Without paying attention, one can easily slide their card the wrong way, producing an error. One example lies in the 24 hour computer lab in the library. The slide card must be slid the correct way, or the door will not open.

Someone should redesign this system so users do not have to pay attention to which way they slide their cards. People are much happier when they don’t have to think, and when they don’t have to repeat actions based on user error. A slide card reader that can read from both ways would provide its users with a much more seamless experience– no matter which way they slide their card, it will be read correctly.

A Clean Restroom

Restrooms are one of dirtiest places to be in. Everyone is supposed to wash their hands, but not everyone does. One problem I have with restrooms are the fact that I have to open the door after I have already washed my hands. The door handles are extremely dirty, and those who don’t wash their hands make it even dirtier.

A standard should be made for restroom doors. They should always be pull from the outside, and push from the inside. For those that are reversed or different, There should be a way to open the door with your bottom foot instead of your hands.

With this design, everyone will be able to open the door to leave the restroom with their feet. So even if people don’t wash their hands, they will not be contaminating anything. Those who do wash their hands won’t have to deal with the door handle making their freshly cleaned hands dirty. The door will always be opened with their foot, so nobody has to worry about touching a dirty door handle.

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