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  • Week 6 – Observation

    2009 - 10.22

    The public device that I choice to observe is an elevator. The elevator used by multiple people everyday. I observed people using the elevator in several different NYU buildings. I choose to observe people in different elevator because the design of interfaces for these elevators differ from elevator to elevator. These design difference affect the ease of use for operating the elevator.

    One would assume that operating an elevator is straight forward. One pushes the direction buttons indicating wether they want to go up or down a floor. Once on the elevator one would select the floor they want to go to. This procedure can be obstructed if the elevators interface is hard to use. I found that elevators that had low contrast buttons was would delay a person selection of a floor. One elevator’s buttons were hard to see because the background and the number of the floor were the same color. The only difference was the floor number and symbols were embossed into the button. This made reading the buttons vague and struggle. I observed people bending down to see the buttons. One instance while riding the elevator that reading the button was a problem happened when a person trying to get onto the elevator ask us to hold the elevator for her but the women on the elevator could not find the “open doors” button in time. I found that elevators that lit the floor number and symbols reduced the time for selecting the correct floor. The lit buttons offered greater viewing range for the people on the elevator. People did not bend down to view the buttons on elevators with brightly lit buttons.

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