This is a sign in a hotel lift. People use the lift to go to their rooms after checking in, to come down to breakfast and to check out.
To use the lift, you have to swipe your hotel room key card, wait for the green light and select your floor by pressing the floor button long enough for the red light to stay on.
Not when you are in a hurry. I watched 6 people struggle. One person jabbed at the buttons indiscriminately. One person got lucky and happened to be getting off on the same floor as someone who did know how to operate it. I helped two people. Two more people gave up and used the stairs.
What is the purpose of a lift?
If the purpose of a system is what it does, the purpose of this lift is to make it difficult for busy people with heavy bags to get upstairs.
The designer had security in mind. Only paying guests have key cards. But if I wanted to get upstairs without a key card, I would wait for someone with a key card to get in the lift and ride with them. Easy. No one would care or notice.
Here’s a lesson in good design from Dieter Rams, the designer at Braun who is known for producing electronic gadgets that are remarkable in their austere aesthetic and user friendliness.
1. Good design is innovative
2. Good design makes a product useful
3. Good design is aesthetic
4. Good design makes a product understandable
5. Good design is unobtrusive
6. Good design is honest
7. Good design is long-lasting
8. Good design is thorough, down to the last detail
9. Good design is environmentally friendly
10. Good design is as little design as possible
Nil points for the hotel lift.