For questions involving physical interfaces and interactions with "real world" objects.

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7
votes
2answers
286 views

What is the rationale behind the way modern elevator dispatch systems are implemented?

There have been many elevator upgrade projects with the aim of saving energy and time for the managers and occupants of buildings. I suspect this has to do with the increase in height and volume of ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

Why do manufacturers allow Android's 'takeover'?

This is a question that I was wondering for quite some time. To provide some background, I bought a few physical devices with different screens and operative systems so we could test apps at the ...
12
votes
2answers
181 views

How to encourage people to move to the back of the bus?

The diagram below shows the layout of the public transportation buses in my city: What this 2-dimensional diagram cannot show properly is that the rear area of the bus is raised about 2 feet above ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

Why do car doors have an almost-closed state?

In every car I've ever seen, if you don't close the door with sufficient force, the door gets into a weird semi-closed state. This state is invisible, which is why cars have various indicators and ...
1
vote
4answers
134 views

Why do trunks for cars typically open upwards?

The other day I saw a car where the trunk's door opened sideways like the other car doors, instead of upwards like they usually do. That got me thinking; why does the door for a car's trunk usually ...
53
votes
10answers
10k views

Why do most smartphones not have a physical keyboard?

The vast majority of smartphones sold today use a 'bar' or 'slate' form-factor, with a large screen which uses an on-screen keyboard. Blackberry are the one obvious manufacturer who still produce ...
33
votes
4answers
6k views

Why do we prefer shiny finish on cars and dull finish on devices?

Across the board, cars have shiny paint (which looks great), while computers, laptops and phones etc. tend to have a dull finish to them. What’s the logic/psychology behind this?
3
votes
0answers
55 views

Should sugar cereal waste any time defending themselves? [closed]

Defending themselves: When the back cover of the cereal has the main purpose of convincing people their cereal is full of nutrition, but still tasty. Honey Nut Cheerios They are trying to ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

People using wrong door to building

Our office building has 2 entrances, but you can only access our office from the secondary entrance. I would like to direct them to walk to the the secondary entrance (30 yds to left) and buzz in ...
5
votes
5answers
167 views

Hot & Cold Touch-Free Sink

I am currently trying to come up with an intuitive design for a touch free sink faucet that allows for both hot and cold temperature settings. Most touch free sinks involve one sensor to start the ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

How to build UI/UX for aircraft? [closed]

Currently, I am the student of CS in aviation. My project is about research in UI for board system (Boeing). Now I have the necessary technical documentation and examples of current interfaces (to ...
59
votes
3answers
15k views

Why are aluminium soda cans typically round instead of square?

Why are beverage cans usually round? Considering the amount that are made, and the need to be transported - isn't a round design inefficient? (ie the lost space from not tightly fitting together). ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Why ribbon is used as symbol for most of disease awareness? [closed]

Why ribbon is used as symbol for most of disease awareness? I am getting confused. So why ribbon?
6
votes
1answer
164 views

Putting names on international business cards in a helpful way

With electronic transmission of contact infos (h/x/j/vCard, CardDAV, EAS etc.) it should be possible to store unambiguously the various parts of a person’s name and title as well as their gender and ...
8
votes
3answers
338 views

The Right way to Write

A slightly belated festive question! Why do we write on the right hand side of cards (and books)? In English and many other languages, we typically begin writing in the top left and move rightwards ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Braille standards for shops

Are there any braille standards for shops? For instance, if a blind person enters a supermarket, how do they find a guide that walks them to where the gloves are, how must the gloves be positioned ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

How do blind people cook?

How can, could, and how do currently blind people cook without burning themselves? I mean, what kind of user interface is good for them? One thing I can think of, is they should have a table that ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Color choice for maximum legibility of text on glass

In our office we have transparent glass doors and we want to put text stickers on them. For example, name of the person or room function. The question is what color should be stickers to provide ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

Why do folding stepladders have “not-a-step” steps?

Stepladders are typically labelled with a warning sticker that says: ⚠️ Danger: Do not stand on top step or, sometimes on the second-from-the-top step: ⚠️ Do not stand on or above this rung ...
2
votes
4answers
173 views

Why don't ATMs give you cash and card together

This is a follow-up of Why don't ATMs give you cash before your card? As shown in the linked question, whether an ATM give you cash first or card first will make users tend to forget the other. ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

Why don't toilet doors also latch and change their status when closed? [closed]

On aeroplanes when the passenger closes the toilet door it keeps the door closed and changes the status to occupied in a separate (or sometimes the same) action as closing the door. I am wondering if ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Justification of petrol station design [closed]

Would appreciate help on this issue. We plan to reconstruct our old petrol station. At present, it has one single row of pumps, so all cars have to move in queue or bypass each other. New design will ...
2
votes
3answers
300 views

Include UI Play/Pause buttons even though remote contains same functionality?

I'm working on a tvOS application that plays videos. On the bottom of the screen are a set of buttons I've created; Previous, Next, Pause, Play. Coming from an iOS background I'm so used to creating ...
3
votes
4answers
490 views

Steering Wheel: A Better Alternative? [closed]

In my opinion steering wheels for automobiles are a bad UX. They seem to be a control that are here for legacy reasons only and were not thought out in the context of new age technology. What would be ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What color smartphone provides the best viewing experience?

This question is not as subjective as it sounds. Some background... Smartphones are commonly sold in black, white, silver, gold, and occasionally other colors. This is slightely dated (2013), but ...
4
votes
3answers
484 views

Why do some elevators have a single call button and others two?

It seems like it would be optimal to have two call buttons (up/down) on an elevator instead of one because I could hop on an elevator headed in the same direction that I want to go versus having to ...
69
votes
10answers
16k views

Why is sugar not in a shaker?

At most restaurants that I've seen, the middle of the table is set up with: One salt shaker One pepper shaker A small dish of a few sugar packets Why isn't sugar put in a shaker like salt and ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

How to avoid people from using the coffee spoon into the sugar jar? [closed]

Do you have any creative ideas how to avoid people using the coffee spoon into the sugar jar?
11
votes
1answer
334 views

Why are stairs not replaced by ramps?

If ramps allow accessibility to a larger number of people as opposed to stairs, then why are stairs more common than ramps in public buildings (or buildings in general)? Comparing a reasonable angle ...
2
votes
4answers
144 views

Tracking what users are drawing on a piece of paper in real time

As part of our research in an HCI project, we need to track what users are drawing on pieces of paper in real time. Due to some requirements, we cannot replace the paper with anything digital. What we ...
127
votes
9answers
19k views

What's the purpose of “This page is intentionally left blank” we see in books?

What's the purpose of "This page is intentionally left blank" we see in books? Why not just leave the page blank and write nothing on it?
4
votes
4answers
136 views

Alternative to power-hungry screen displays

For devices that run on a battery, the screen is the component that drains the the battery the most. So I began to wonder if there is an alternative. Has someone ever tried another type of interface ...
11
votes
5answers
358 views

What perceptual mechanism governs this road indicator design?

In this roundabout design, arrows(?) point against the flow of traffic (traffic flows along on the right side of the road). You can particularly see it in the second image. They indicate that you ...
3
votes
5answers
432 views

ALL CAPS fonts for industrial use

I'm on a plane and noticed the use of all caps on the flight crew phone: Generally I found the phone very well designed: it has rounded colors, decent contrast, is unobtrusive for passengers, and ...
2
votes
3answers
276 views

Why are USB ports in laptops so close to each other?

A few months ago I wanted a new laptop, so I ordered it from a big brand considering its solid features (like Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM etc.). The laptop is perfect and runs well, but it ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How long should automatic doors delay closing?

Automatic doors have a sensor that detect whether people are present, and when there are none, and after a delay, the doors close. How long should that closing delay be? Does it depend on factors ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Why do stairs have overhangs?

Most stairs (at least here in the US) have an overhang or 'nosing' where the edge of the stair protrudes over the riser: I've heard different reasons for why the nosing exists, but I've not been ...
45
votes
4answers
4k views

Why are messages on the road printed in reverse?

After reading this question, something occurred to me that I've always wondered - but never thought to ask. Why are road messages/signs printed in reverse? (source https://xkcd.com/781/) Anytime ...
71
votes
12answers
10k views

Do signs printed on the road offer a significant advantage for the user over signs on a post?

I was driving earlier today and I came across a stretch of road that didn't have signs for the speed limit but instead had it written on the road like so: Image source It got me thinking that it ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

Is there a human advantage to painting heavy equipment (aka “baggers”) bright yellow?

Is it just branding, decoration, or is there an actual human-centered reason for it?
3
votes
3answers
408 views

Why do we say that door knobs afford twisting?

So many basic discussions of affordances begin with the example of door knobs affording twisting. It seems to be the second example used in Norman's 1988 definition, even. However a symmetric round ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

Using warnings to reduce printer waste

I've seen where businesses try to limit printing usage by limiting users from printing more than 100 or so pages per month with an application like this: download bmml source – Wireframes ...
65
votes
9answers
7k views

How to convey: “don't move until the task is done!”

Our local public transportation system uses electronic cards (something like RFID technology) to validate rides. Users enter the vehicle and place their contactless card against a reader, and a beep ...
16
votes
16answers
4k views

How can I get people not to put trash in recycling bins?

In my office space we have a main trash can and "recycling" can in the break room. They are simply two bins, with the same color, that are hidden in a cabinet. Outside of the cabinet are two doors,...
4
votes
3answers
342 views

UX to consider on a business card design

On a UX stance, what are the best practices to consider when designing a business card? I've done some research in order to find some that I might not have considered and I have to admit that I've ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Why to loosen always by rotating it counterclockwise and to tighten by rotating it clockwise?

For example: Screw / bolt Bottle design Why this intuition works for most people? Does it have anything to do with the right-hand rule?
94
votes
12answers
21k views

Why do showers have “hot” and “cold” knobs rather than “temperature” and “quantity” knobs?

I do not understand the advantage of the popular "hot" and "cold" controls in showers, as opposed to "temperature" and "quantity" controls. Is it simply because the latter option is harder to ...
3
votes
2answers
393 views

Why do revolving doors rotate counterclockwise?

In all my life I have never seen a clockwise revolving door. How did counterclockwise become standard?
1
vote
2answers
388 views

Why are elevator doors always too small? [closed]

I noticed that elevator doors are always narrower than the compartment, so people get jammed up trying to exit. Why don't they just design elevator doors so they are wide enough for everyone to exit ...
1
vote
1answer
556 views

What is the purpose of jackets having small zipperless back pockets just below the neck?

I was a little bit surprised to find that my Bench-branded 100% polyester jacket had a little zipperless back pocket just below the neck, especially since placing something like keys there would make ...