Some of the User Interface redesigns that I have worked on as part of training my cognitive abilities as a product designer.
ESPRESSO MACHINE UI REDESIGN
VIOLATION: Cognitive Burden
So there is this very complex and fancy espresso machine at my job and at first, it seems very straightforward to use, press the correct icon to get the desired amount of coffee you want, etc. For new people who do not have someone around to teach them to use the machine, it could be a headache for them to learn about the interface by themselves because there are no text cues on the interface to direct the user on what to do, and the only way to troubleshoot is with a manual that comes included but that is a tedious task to do every time something goes wrong. The reason why this interface creates a cognitive burden on the user is for example: when the machine runs out of coffee beans, the coffee icon blinks continuously to let the user know they need to replenish the coffee, but even after the user refills the coffee beans, the machine won't update and the light will continue blinking UNTIL the user taps on it twice (without a manual or someone to guide you, how would one know this information?). Then the user needs to constantly remember all these steps because there is no clear instruction on what to do. this makes this "fancy" machine a design headache to use.
For the redesign of the user interface of this machine, I rearranged the icons that flash so they can be aligned and centered, and the text labels for those icons will be placed on the left-hand side and justified right, similar to what you see on some textbook table of content lists, or fill out forms. There will also be extra icons of a green checkmark and a red x, that will only light up when necessary, to either communicate to the user that something must be fixed or that once it's fixed it's good to go. especially handy for changing the water, decalcification filter, or replenish beans, or empty tray. the only icons that will be lit up at all times are for the user to select the Coffee amount they want: small, medium, or large. Once they click on their choice, the other two choices will turn off and the user won't have to use their working memory to remember anything else. the thinking has been done for them, no more cognitive burden.
WATER DISPENSER REMINDER UI
VIOLATION: Direct Manipulation Problem
This is an interface on a water filter container, the idea is that the carbon filter must be changed every 2 months to ensure is always purified and clean. The UI features two columns the (left) one with the current month, and the (right) one with the 2-month when the filters must be changed. All seems well here EXCEPT that the sticker that is used to connect the two columns I very slippery especially after being in contact with water. This can be a problem with people who are very forgetful because the sticker slider may accidentally slide down and show the wrong month when the filter must be changed. This is a violation because while I perform the right task, a mistake could occur, the slippery sticker may not be the right choice for this interface.
In order to redesign this already simple interface, I decided to actually upgrade a little bit even if it was a bit more costly for the manufacturer. I realized there are so many water filters that inevitably utilize digital interface or electrons to function that this one would not hurt to try. The existing sticker interface would be replaced by an analog screen where the user inputs the current date where the filter is changed, this information appears on the left of the interface, while on the right side there is another section that automatically fills up two months later so the user does not need to remember that information because it is always there. Evidently, there will be pros and cons as with every new redesign, there will always be trade-off because it is impossible to please everyone. This was only my suggestion based on observation and being the only person in the office who handles these water dispensers.