You had one job.

Time for a little non-sequitur rant. I’m on my morning walk when I passed this sign on the trail. I’ve passed it dozens of times before without paying much attention to it, but something nagged at a dark corner of my brain about it. 

Designers, before you think I’m singling you out, understand that I’m one of you. I get it; sometimes you’re given a job that’s so boring, you have to really dig to find a way to spice it up. Here’s the thing, though: when you get that feeling, beware! You’re most likely about to commit a cardinal design sin. You’re about to let design obscure functionality.


What am I on about, you ask? Arrows. This is a sign whose one mission is to point you in the direction of a particular feature. So why in the name of all that’s holy would you abstract and obfuscate that simple directional device to the point of rendering it meaningless?

Signs can be a lot of things. Coy shouldn’t be one of them. Okay, rant over. More or less.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jim H.

    January 31, 2017, 10:49 am

    I think the sign is saying that you’re supposed to turn left, and then spin around in a 360 degree circle. What isn’t clear, though, is if you are going to both the nature trail and to the bike trail, do you have to spin around twice, or is once sufficient?

  • dexthom

    January 31, 2017, 12:13 pm

    Which way is North?