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Friday, June 24, 2016

Elevator Button

What could be simpler than designing a button for calling an elevator?

Look at the picture above. This was from the lobby of a building with lots of medical offices. There are 6 things on this panel that look like buttons. Four of them are not buttons. The bottom two are buttons. The eye-grabbing white button is the one that you should never press. I don't even know what that does. Maybe it sets off an alarm and alerts the fire department.

By the way, the silver button (if you can see it) is the one you are supposed to press. This is the button that is completely unlabeled. Yes, this panel is full of instructions for the fire department. The people who will use this once every 3 years and are already fully trained on its operation. For the people who will be using this panel 99.9999% of the time, there is no label whatsoever on our silver button. Why couldn't they put the fire operation on a separate panel?

I must confess that I actually was so intimidated by this interface that I decided to take the stairs.

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