"I just found a Norman door, it was really difficult to use" - sounds familiar? It is a popular quote from the book "Design of everyday things" by Don Norman.
So, I went into this building and needed to go to 14th floor. I came to the elevators (6 of them, 3 on each side) and wanted to call one. I couldn’t find normal controls like you see on normal elevators these days, instead I was introduced to something that looked like a phone keypad. It looked like this:
I was confused at first, I thought maybe this is something for employees of the company to enter their special code or something. Notice the “star” button? What the heck is that!?
On the display it said: “Please enter floor number”. I “typed” 1 and 4 and the message on the display changed to something: “Elevators to come A, B..” - and I don’t remember after that because the message quickly disappeared and returned to default state. I was confused but….
Eventually, one of the elevators arrived and I stepped inside. To my surprise inside the elevator there were no buttons or controls at all. I was presented with this:
Nevermind, I was on my way to 14th floor.
After the meeting I had to go down of course :) I pressed number 0 on the left keypad and again display showed some message very fast and disappeared, and in that very moment one elevator just arrived on the other side (right). I turned around and entered that elevator, door closed and …. nothing happened. I was trapped inside! Since there were no buttons to choose to which floor you want to go, I couldn’t do much. Eventually I found a small tiny button that looked like if pressed the door will open. It did, I was free again!
What really happened here is that this wasn’t my elevator for the ride as I “the genius” figured it out, because the message on the display told me which elevator I should take or expect to come, since I was using the keypad on the left side. Elevators were marked with letters from A to F, and coincidentally the moment I pressed 0 on the left side, elevator came on the right side. Since the message on display isn’t really readable (except you’re super duper mega uber fast reader) I couldn’t tell I was wrong until I was trapped.
And finally, I figured out how this “state of the art modern” elevator operates and found my way out of this building.
Imagine you work in this building. You must go to 14th floor and on your way back to ground floor, in the middle of your ride you decide to stop by on 8th floor to visit your colleague. Normally you’d quickly press number 8 and elevator would stop there and you can step outside. Unfortunately that ain’t gonna happen with this one :)
This elevator design probably won several prestige awards for the design of the century in whole universe or something like that.
Till next time when I return with more DOET stuff ;)