Welcome to Team 12’s first post! In last week’s lecture, the discussion topic was on the issue of interface design. In the discussion it is mentioned that interface design need not only refer to digital user interface design but also “hardware” designs that people interacted with in their daily lives.
Notable examples of interesting designs given in the lecture include a staircase wired up to work like a piano with each step playing different notes and a trash bin wired up to play a comical “falling” sound when someone drops a piece of trash into the bin. These two designs encouraged people to use the stairs instead of the escalator and throwing trash into the bin instead of littering in the park by making the process more fun for people.
Hence it is only natural that our post for this week further explore examples of good and bad design.
This first example illustrates poor design. The keyhole to the door lock is placed underneath the door handle, which makes it practically impossible for the key to be inserted into the lock, much less turned after that. This makes the door lock unusable from this side of the door.
The intended use of this door might be to only allow the lock to be accessed on the reverse side, that side may have the handle positioned differently allowing the lock to be used. However, in the event of an emergency of having someone locked out/in, the option of unlocking from the facing side is not available.
This problem could be alleviated by repositioning the handle on the door.
This second example illustrates good design. The keyhole of the door is shaped in a concave with glow in the dark material surrounding the lock. This enables easy location of the lock in poor lighting conditions. The glow in the dark material shows the user where the lock is located and the concave shape help guide the user by feel as to where exactly to insert his key.
This design would be excellent on the outside of doors at places where there might be low lighting at night, or at places where lighting has to be kept intentionally dim, for example, cinemas, auditoriums or museums.