Too hard to handle

The 100-day design challenge

Web design
Interaction design
100 days
(Aug 2023 - Dec 2023)
Special Thanks
Brett Yasko


In pursuit of embracing the concept of “inconsistently consistent,” I embarked on a daily design exercise spanning 100 days, from August 29th to December 6th. This challenge aimed to explore and expand my design capabilities through persistent practice.

Topic Selection

The primary goal was to select a design exercise that I could sustain over 100 days. My criteria for this selection included:

1. Manageability
2. Independence from unpredictable elements
3. Potential for over 100 unique variations

I explored various design areas including icon design, photography, drawing, and, intriguingly, cooking. Cooking seemed initially irrelevant but revealed its relevance upon deeper consideration. After weighing the pros and cons, I found photography to be the most suitable due to its manageability and the abundant variation in subjects.

Research and Decision

Initially, I considered capturing Pittsburgh’s dog population, but concerns about the weather impacting dog-walking habits led me to rethink. The real inspiration struck when I faced the confusing door at Carnegie Mellon University’s Master Studio. This door, with its non-intuitive design, perplexed even design students. It featured a non-twisting handle and an ID sensor, creating a disconnect in user expectations and interactions.

I started to collect doors from CMU, the Pittsburgh area, and New York City. This observation led to a broader exploration of door designs. I discovered a surprising lack of consistency in door affordances, often leaving users guessing how to operate them.

Plan and Goal

To make this exploration engaging, I conceptualized a quiz website about door designs. This interactive platform aims to challenge users to guess the functionality of various doors, thereby highlighting the importance of intuitive design. The website’s goal is to provoke reflection on affordance design, the relationship between designers and users, and the designers’ responsibility in creating user-friendly products.

Challenges and Solutions

Anticipating that 100 door quizzes might overwhelm users, I decided to categorize them for a more digestible experience. Categories could include seasonal groupings or geographical ones, like doors in Pittsburgh versus New York. This categorization strategy aligns with the modern trend of shorter attention spans, ensuring user engagement.

Design Outcome

Design Breakdown

The quizzes were divided into four editions: two for CMU and one each for Pittsburgh and New York. This division allowed for a structured, easy-to-navigate website, focusing users on one quiz at a time. The website,, was designed with user experience at the forefront, balancing navigational ease with engaging content.

Upon entering, users are presented with a selection of quizzes, each corresponding to a different location. This initial interaction sets the tone for a user-centric experience.

They are then welcomed with an inviting screen that encourages them to embark on their quiz journey. This approach is designed to engage and orient users, making the transition into the quiz seamless and enjoyable.

During the quiz, users can easily track their progress through a prominently displayed progress bar. Additionally, immediate feedback on their responses enhances the interactive experience, keeping them informed and engaged.

Upon completing a quiz, users are presented with their scores, offering a sense of accomplishment. This feature also seamlessly guides them to the next quiz, fostering continued engagement and exploration of the website’s diverse content.


This project revealed significant variations in door designs, notably between New York and Pittsburgh. Doors in New York often included instructional signage, raising questions about whether this reflects a gap in affordance design or is merely an accessibility aid. This observation led to a deeper understanding that door design encompasses more than just affordance; it includes the feedback during interaction, aesthetic appeal, and the emotional response it elicits.

Through this 100-day challenge, I not only developed a keener eye for design details but also gained a profound appreciation for the intricate relationship between design and user experience.


If given a chance to redo this project, I would delve even deeper into the psychological and sociological aspects of design. Understanding how different cultures and communities interact with common objects could add another layer of depth to the project. Additionally, incorporating user feedback more extensively throughout the design process could further refine the outcomes, making them more user-centric.

Since you have reached this part, why don’t you try it yourself?