Planned Design, Not “PLAM” Design



I drive by this place every week when I take my son to his drum lesson. We both always look to see if the neon sign is still there. How did this business decide it was OK to hang that neon sign? Why don’t they fix it?

I recently started thinking about how it’s analogous to interface design problems Swim encounters.

Did the proprietor truly not notice the mistake? Or more likely, did she think everyone would know what she meant, and that the investment required to correct the sign was just not worth it?
And what about the fabricators? Would pointing out the error cost them the job? Or cost the company extra time and money? Or were they simply executing on the given assignment, disconnected from the project’s goals, and didn’t actually notice the problem?

My son and I laugh as we wonder whether any potential customers passed on an opportunity to know the future because this communication hiccup made it less credible. Has any customer pointed out the problem? I’m actually tempted to go inside and ask!

Some of our clients are hesitant to abandon an existing design direction because the cost of execution is great. But the cost of not doing so is greater. Some developers we work with don’t get close to the project’s larger goals or don’t want to sweat the details. But the result of not having the entire team fully invested is usually a less optimal outcome.