So I was in a Los Angeles university building the other day, looking for a particular office and not even sure that I was in the correct building. On the wall there was a nice big map with a key of all the buildings. Cool. I traced my finger down the list, looking for the one I wanted, and then realised I was using entirely the wrong sort of model.
In that not-money-grubbing-at-all American way, all of the buildings were named after some benefactor or other. You know the sort of thing. The Buford T. Justice Fire Hydrant. The Wile E. Coyote Mobile Phone Aerial. Fair enough. Even Messrs Justice and Coyote ought to be able to buy their little bit of posterity if they can’t earn it. This is America, after all. But here’s the thing. Because the buildings were listed in alphabetical order of benefactor, unless I knew who the damn building had been named after, I had no choice other than to run my finger down from the top until I found the one I wanted.
As a system, that’s broken. Granted, the kids who use the buildings lots probably know the names backwards, but I’m guessing they aren’t who the map is for. Someone new to the campus who knows what they want is the film school, or the bookstore, is not going to be helped.