Put Your Hands Up If You Hate Bad Design


The design decisions of Washington Mutual have puzzled us for some time, but their new no-counter, no-glass branches took some getting used to. We’ve slowly adjusted to the way we discuss our lack of savings while standing at a kiosk in the middle of the room.

Jaime Quiroz Sanchez says that easy breezy environment got him robbed at knifepoint in the parking lot. He’s suing the bank for negligence and reckless misconduct to recover the $20,805 that was taken from him. And then some. All this in the name of innovation:

Washington Mutual has been in the vanguard of an industry push to open customer-friendly branches designed more like a Starbucks or a casual retail store than an old-fashioned bank. In 2004, WaMu even obtained a patent for its design, called Occasio, which features a “concierge” to greet customers, the free-standing stations where they discuss transactions with tellers and large graphics with such words as “Retirement,” “College Education” and “Financial Security.”

Better take that last one down.