How a Bad Design Ruined Miss Universe 2015


A few days after the universal drama that was Miss Universe 2015 coronation night unfolded,  it is still the hottest topic around. The internet is littered with it, it is the buzz around office and still the subject on most lunch and dinners. Ironically, In the middle of it was a prominently mustached man sporting a bald head, Steve Harvey.

I had to admit, I didn’t know who the guy was, until a friend told me what he does for a living. When I saw Mr. Harvey for the first time, my thought was, “Richard Pryor (RIP) is hosting the show.” Lol.

I immediately noticed that he look nervous,  unnatural and seems a little bit distracted, so I figured that maybe being around 80 plus pretty ladies and hosting a live show with millions of audience around the globe has something to do with that. In any case, to me he doesn’t look like he’s doing a good job.

In my opinion there are 2 major factors that contributed to all this brouhaha.

  1. Lack of preparation from the emcee. My observation was confirmed when it was reported that Mr. Harvey didn’t practice the announcement of the winners.
  2. And a Failed design. Failed what? Did I just incorporate my work skills in this? Yes, I just did. Let me explain.

More than a decade ago, when I was just starting my career in what they call now as “IT”, I attended a company paid traning for Systems Analysis and Design. There are a few things that stuck with me from that week-long  training, and one of those is the proper way of designing trade documents or any documents for that matter.

Back in the days, Erap jokes were very popular and the trainer made a hilarious joke about him. Here it is: When Erap is filling up his COC form,  (certificate of candidacy) with FVR and Miriam, he looked at it, he saw the field “Surname”, so he wrote down his name, then wrote down his first name across the field “Firstname” and so on and so fort. Pretty soon he came across a field for “Sex”, he hesitated. He casually glanced at FVR’s form and saw  that FVR wrote “M” in it. Curiously he took a peek at Miriam’s COC and saw that she scribbled “F”. At that moment, he let out a naughty  smirk and wrote down “M-W-F”.

A great example of failed document design, not to mention funny. A better design would be to put 2 check-boxes along with the letters “M” and “F” beside each other of course.

Now why is this relevant to the bungled announcement of the Miss Universe 2015? Well like I said before, one of the factors that made all of this to happen is the poor design. In this case, the result card.

Look at the way the result card was presented. On the left side, starting from the top, the 2nd runner-up and the 1st runner-up results one on top of the other. It barely occupies the card vertically, there is more than half of empty space after that. On the right side, there is a text that says, “Miss Universe 2015” with big fonts, more that 2 times the font size of the the “runner-ups” fonts. An then, below it is the winner with tiny fonts. The most questionable in design is why the heck it is placed at the lower right side of the card? It broke the continuity of information in the card. Normally people would read from top to bottom, from left to right.

When Mr. Harvey announced the winner he was holding the card by his right hand. Anybody holding a card on his right hand would tend to grab it on the lower right side, exactly where the words “Philippines” was pasted on.

The recipe for disaster is now complete. Lack of preparation on the part of the emcee, a badly designed result card plus the fact that he seem a bit uneasy.

Now, when he read the result, he can clearly see the “2nd Runner up” and the “1st Runner up” and after that an empty space, he probably gazed on the upper right side of the card and still empty. At this point the big font “Miss Universe 2015” looks like an elaborated footnote only, the title of the event.

So, after he announced the 2nd runner up, all he could see now is the 1st runner up and nothing else. At that moment his eyes made him believe that that is gonna be the last announcement he would make that night and his mind was probably processing 3 things, the word “1st” then nothing else, last announcement, winner.  And so just like what they always say, the rest is history.

If only the result card had a better design, it could have neutralized Mr. Harvey’s lack of practice. If only the winner was placed immediately after the 1st runner up or even just  above the right side of the card, the day could have been saved.

Our Confidently Beautiful  Queen with a Heart would have taken her traditional victory walk and it would have spared us all from seeing the ugly side of some bitter contestants.

If I were Miss Montenegro or Miss Germany or Miss Colombia, I would sue the designer of the result card.



About Erwinskofp

I am an ERP Professional working on Project Implementations. I like to write and I love photography someday I hope these two will meet.
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