Good design serves people, while people are forced to serve a bad design. I think many of us can name examples of poorly designed objects or systems that make us work harder than is necessary (cable company phone abyss anyone?). However, we embrace, indeed, we go out of our way to produce poor designs. By poor design, I refer to any configuration that puts the trackplan ahead of people. Questionable examples abound of trackplans that ignore the needs or comfort of the people who are supposed to use the thing.

I ask this question in all seriousness, what are we doing?

What are we doing when we design layouts that force us to climb, crawl, bend, stand on our tippy toes, or reach uncomfortably just so a model train can take an extra ten seconds to go from here to there? What are we doing and why do people think it’s fun?

Mike