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Tag: everyday usability

Everyday Usability 9 – Elevator interface usability

Everyday Usability 9 – Elevator interface usability

Recently I went to work very tired. This tiredness nearly made me accidentally press an alarm button in the elevator interface. I had to use an elevator with very slow closing doors. Naturally, I wanted to speed up the process and tried to press the dedicated button to close the doors. My finger already touched the surface of the button when I realized it had the wrong colour. I look closer and saw that I nearly touched the “call service”…

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Everyday Usability 8 – Fire door

Everyday Usability 8 – Fire door

The department which I work for moved in another building. The building consists of three interconnected houses (or three single houses if you ignore the connecting way). Each house is similar in design. The design integrates an easy fire escape route, but does not integrate the fire safety concept well. One side of a house consists of big open offices and the other side of meeting rooms and smaller offices for higher management. I’m working in one of the big…

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Everyday Usability 7 – Usable tap design

Everyday Usability 7 – Usable tap design

Taps are an everyday item that comes in a great variety of designs. Unfortunately, this can lead to usability issues. But, first let us focus on the user requirements for a tap. At minimum a good usable tap should indicate the following: Design criteria for a usable tap Whether the water flow starts manually or automatically (e.g., motion sensor). An icon with a hand and two lines marking the motion sensor clearly indicate an automatic tap. Whether the water temperature…

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Everyday Usability 6 – Trapped in a revolving door

Everyday Usability 6 – Trapped in a revolving door

Recently I got trapped in a revolving door. If you have read Don Norman’s “Design of everyday things”, you already know that doors as simple as their design appears can be a rich source of usability limitations. My experience starts with a night out. After a wonderful dinner at a restaurant, we wanted to go to a cocktail bar. Before that, I wanted to withdraw cash from a bank nearby. The entrance was a huge revolving door (photo below). The…

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Everyday Usability 5 – Stove

Everyday Usability 5 – Stove

A stove is a classic example of an everyday device that we can struggle using. Don Norman described an example in his book. I will add my experience in the following. Recently we moved into a new flat which already had an in-built kitchen. The stove has a ceramic stove top and a control field with five small touch buttons (photo below). One button turns the stove on and off and the other four buttons adjust the temperature at a…

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Everyday Usability 4 – The flying spork

Everyday Usability 4 – The flying spork

While on a flight I noticed an unexpected type of cutlery. The stewardess served a noodle salad in a see-through plastic bowl. I received only the bowl. After waiting for a while I began to search for the cutlery. I could not see anything obvious attached to the bowl and there was no hint on the bowl whatsoever. When I looked around looked into the confused faces of my fellow passengers. The bottom of the bowl brought somewhat insight. There…

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Everyday Usability 3 – Mobile phone

Everyday Usability 3 – Mobile phone

I bought my old mobile phone around the year 2000. At that point of time, a mobile phone that can be flipped open was stylish. It has a small display on the front which shows the time and when it is flipped open there is a larger display and a keypad (photos below). The most important functions of a phone are to enable the user to call other people, answer to calls, and in some cases also to refuse a…

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Everyday Usability 2 – Cup handle

Everyday Usability 2 – Cup handle

Cups are an everyday object. Innovative designs can turn the experience of drinking coffee or tea into a special event. Unfortunately, a visual pleasing design might make it difficult to drink. Enjoy this example of everyday usability. During a visit to a cafe I discovered this charming design of a coffee cup. It is a small coffee cup. Fitting to the beverage, the cup’s handle is formed like a coffee bean. In the photo below you can see the design….

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Everyday Usability 1 – Usability mp3 player

Everyday Usability 1 – Usability mp3 player

In this first article about the usability of everyday products I want to talk about the experience with my mp3 player. I often used the mp3 player while cycling or walking to work. Notably, I did not recognize the design limitations when I tested the design in the shop. I noticed them only after using the player for a while. The most important function of an mp3 player is the selection of songs and to adjust the volume. This device…

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