Give an example of a badly designed product
+1 vote

6 Answers

+2 votes
Here is a 2 step process to answer such questions -

1. Clarification - what does bad mean? Is it bad user experience, bad product design, bad / useless / unnecessary features.

2. Identifying problem - based on the above clarification, you have to suggest who is the predominant user type and why do you think it is bad. For example, in uber India - the safety feature is poorly designed because it doesn't clearly suggest the specific call to action, which could be contacting the police or general safety report during your drive.

Mostly, this question is asked to judge your analytical and product vision skills. And the follow up question would be - how would you improve it.
by (24 points)
Yeah I agree. "how would you improve it" is usually asked right after describing the product and problem. It's important to highlight a problem that can ideally be solved with a product improvement suggestion.
+1 vote

Would like to talk Uber Express Pool as a badly designed product or a feature:

I would be evaluating it on common design principles:

1. Product solves the problem it is intended to solve

2. The product is understandable and easy to navigate

3. Product delights the user

4. Product sends feedback to the user when something goes wrong

The express pool gives riders option to share their ride at an affordable price by walking a few minutes to a common point.

Uber express pool feature failing on number 2 and 3. I happened to use a couple of times and every time I ended up canceling the ride. Let me explain why after confirmed booking it asks you walking down to common pickup point but there is no live navigation available only few statically presented dotted lines make your way to a location. It shows you like "walk 250 meters south-east" and the name of pickup point. I always have a hard time finding north, south, east, west location :) and . I am sure many would have faced the same doing it. Hence this feature is not understandable and tough to navigate.

Ever since I have canceled my last booking and entered 20 mins late in a crucial meeting  I would talk negatives of this feature to at least 10 people and hence customer centricity dies totally in here. Feature completely breaks the flow and its very likely to annoy the user. Along with it if one rider gets late in finding point would be annoying for other riders 

Suggested solution:

1. They would have come up with real-time navigation facility helping the users reaching pickup point hassle free.

2. May add live location sharing option through text messages. 

by (45 points)
I wonder if this is good enough of a solution. I'm sure Uber has thought about real-time navigation as a way  to  solve this problem. I think you should explain why it hasn't been fixed yet (what is the technical challenge that's preventing Uber from solving this problem?). and then come up with a novel approach to solving it.
+1 vote

I travel a lot and in order to plan a vacation, weather plays a very important role. In order to avoid any delays and diversions, I prefer to book all the attractions based on the weather. 

Because I have iPhone, I am used to looking at the pre-installed weather app but it doesn't give me a lot of information to plan the travel for each day. I generally end up searching the weather on the app. 

I can think of the below personas of the app

- Traveller 

- Locals 

- Business like: mail delivery, airlines, constructions etc 

I am going to stick to traveller persona. The goal of the improvement is to increase user engagement. Let's list their pain point 


* As a traveller I would like to see predicted daily weather for the dates I am travelling and also suggestions for what kinds of clothes to bring.

* As a traveller I would also like to see hourly predicted wind and precipitation for the travel dates in order to plan the day ahead with any attractions.

* As a traveller, I would like to know if the destination weather has high pollen or dust allergy for the travel date


OptionImpact to UserDev Complexity
Allow user to select a certain date range and provide an "estimated" forecast based on history to the user. When showing the forecast for the date range, show small icons to suggest the kind of clothing to bring. Ex. If it is predicted to rain then show an "umbrella icon" ; If summer then show a "swimsuit icon"  HighLow (the data is already available)
Allow a user to drill down to 7-days ahead forecast by hour and provide wind, humidity, pressure information Medium (might not be accurate)Low (it is difficult to get the hourly data predicted)
Allow a user to select a date range and provide predicted information regarding any known allergies for the destination HighHigh (people with allergies can adjust their travel plan based on the information)

Based on above I would go ahead with solution 1 & then 3. In order to measure the success, I would looke at the below metrics

* number of users selecting a date range and getting the weather information for a particular destination

* number of users viewing the "allergies" data 

* average time spend/user (should increase)






by (151 points)
Interesting. I think I would have worded the  problem statement a bit different. I would just say something like "the iPhone weather app is badly designed because it doesn't let me easily see the forecasted weather conditions" Here, you  clearly communicated the product name and you clearly described its problem.
0 votes
My least favorite product is CitiBank mobile apps. When answering this question, it is always good to lay out the framework or the measurement criteria upfront. Here is a list of items to be considered:

 (1) Whether the function is complete/robust enough to solve the problem

(2) Whether the design (both UI and backend) is good enough to reduce user friction to minimal

(3) Whether the product creates a unique experience that is not easily replaceable by other products

My least favorite product is CitiMobile bank.

It failed in all three items.

(1) The function is not robust enough. I mainly just used the app to check my bank account balance. However, more advanced transactions such as purchasing a treasury/deposit certificates will still need to be executed manually by a banker, who never directly pick up the phone. I would always need to call several times to complete the transactions. I think at least some messaging function can be developed for this task so that I do not get held up because the banker is not available.  

(2) The overall APP is very buggy. Before, when clicking on some links, it does not go anywhere. The app itself responds so slow that it almost does not make sense to use APP itself. I have always needed to go to a desktop and log on to my online account there whenever I can. During one iteration, they even changed the entire security protocol, they have asked the user to remember a totally new six-digit security code to login to the APP, which is actually different from the security code they use an ATM or with a cashier in a physical branch. I did not see the benefits of having an additional security code, which seems only creates extra friction. During the later iteration, they remove this step. The overall update user experience was not well thought before they launch to the customers. However, as it is a bank app, trust and robustness are actually very important. The sketchy mobile app just does not help build that reputation.

(3) Again the mobile app itself is not sufficient to replace online banking portal and physical branch. I found my usage of the mobile app is quite low.
I think the problems the recruiters want you to highlight are less about "bugs" and "lack of certain features" and more about fundamental UX problems that you see in the problem. Lack of feature parity or bugs are not good problems to highlight in my opinion. I would have highlighted something more fundamental and unique (that requires a 10x PM to solve) such as "It doesn't tell me how well I'm managing my financials". If am able to provide a good solution for the problem I gave, I have proven to the interviewer that I am a strong product person.
0 votes
I will use the shoe with lace as the product. It is widely used for years. I will ask clarification question: is this an issue with 1. product usefulness, 2. ease of use, 3. aesthetic and / or fashion sense.   The user segments men and women. will focus on men segment. The subsegments in this are Students, Employees: factory/construction, or business, retired/seniors.  I will ask if I can focus on Employee segment - mainly business/corporate/academic setting.   Assume focus on business user in corporate setting. Typically leather or sports/casual shoe is used.

will look at two options: shoe with lace and shoe without lace.

1. shoe with lace: pros - is widely accepted, aesthetic, provides stability.   cons - takes longer time to put on 1 - 2 mins, requires to sit or bend to tie laces, if socks are thick, will have to force into shoe, requires to tighten lace and tie knot, the know may come off and cause fashion mistake, is hard to take off at airport security queue, is also time consuming to put back on in security queue while managing the other acticles, is not easy to take off in the airplane itself, and if taken off in the airplane is difficult to put on.  2. shoe without lace - cons. is geeky and less stylish, less stable and not tight fit,  pros: easy to put on, take off, time saving, comfortable.

solution: i will propose creating a hybrid shoe, that will have laces for appearance, to take care of the fashion/style aspects, but actuality will function like a lace less shoe.  This combines best of both shoe designs.   pricing wise will keep at same/ slightly higher than non lace version.


Metrics: run promo and test market on amazon. look at adoption and take rates and extrapolate.
by (59 points)

Not sure if you need to  ask clarification questions here. Why not  just give the name of the product you don't like  and show your decisiveness? Also, I think your "how to improve" answer is missing the proper structure for a product improvement answer. See here

0 votes

Badly designed product 

Before I begin, I'd clarify what is meant by 'bad'. I'm assuming that I can suggest improvements to a product I use today. When I think about products I love using today, I have a simple criteria: 

1) Product solves a need that no other products solve the same way, it's unique

2) I use it frequently use it and it works  

3) The product is intuitive

The product I will focus on is iMessage (iPhone native messaging app). I've come to use other messaging apps more because they have unique characteristics that I think iMessage is missing. 

The user cases for iMessage are: 

1) Sending a message to someone from your contacts 

2) Searching messages for something previously sent 

3) Searching someones contact info from your list of messages 

4) Sending a photo to someone 

5) Calling someone from your messages 

6) Searching for photos previously sent 

7) Replying to texts recieved 

When it comes to iMessage, iPhone can do 1, 4, and 7 with the least amount of clicks. However, I think the rest of the tasks can be improved. I think when it comes to user efficiencies, you want to be able to achieve a task with a minimal amount of clicks. User cases 3 and 5 take more than 1 click. Where as on other messaging apps such as WhatsApp it is easy and more intuitive. Finding contact info should be super quick. In iMessages it takes 4 clicks to find out what the users phone number is. That isn't intuitive. 

Search doesn't exist for 1:1 mesages on iMessage. I find that saving a message to come back to later is hard. For example, a user scenario could be saving someone address info or apartment buzzer. Currently, right now you search for all your messages and the app will return messages from all your chats even if you know who you want to search messages with. The improvement I would suggest here woud be - being able to save messages and come back to them later. 

Another improvement for #7 is to be able to reply to older messages. Scenario here would be if you were having a group conversation and weren't active in the conversation at the time. When you go open up your messages, you can go through the conversation and reply back to messages you might have missed. Currently, you reply is general to the conversation and not specific to someones message. WhatsApp has also solved this problem well. 

To summarize, more users will resort to using other messaging apps since iMessage is lacking intuitivity. 

by (60 points)
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