In some lifts, if we press and hold the close door button, it acts like pass button and doesn't opens the doors in intermediate floors if some one gives lift request from intermediate floors. Does it really an express mode or is it a fault. If we consider establishing lift, is it good to request for this feature?


Hurray - a non website - non desktop - non mobile, UX question!

If pressing and holding the close door button is the only trigger, and everyone found out about this shortcut, then it could result in bedlam with lots of unhappy users and lots of ab-users! The only person it will ever benefit is the person who travels between the bottom and the top floor - so its a kind of penthouse apartment privilege.

One other situation where it might be relevant is in a tourist lift in a building of interest where an attendant controls the lift and wants to ensure it doesn't stop at intermediate floors but goes straight up or down.

Another situation is a goods or service usage where bulky deliveries or laundry trolleys should go directly to required floor without inconveniencing people on intermediate floors with having to get in a lift with dirty laundry etc.

However, in each of these cases I seriously doubt this intended to be achieved via the shortcut mechanism of 'press and hold' the close button as the sole controller for that purpose - it's usually a key setting for individual service - so you would insert key and turn, then select floor - and the pressing and holding of the close door button may or may not be a part of it.

I suppose that's not to say that as a cheaper fitted option in some smaller buildings, the key switch can be left out but the close door button shortcut is left in. Maybe that's a fault, maybe deliberate - but is it intended usage by the lift manufacturers? I doubt it

So in summary - it's a useful thing but best if enabled by a key to switch mode, otherwise it's too open to abuse - which is why it needs a key as well. Consider who is going to know about the shortcut. Who benefits from the option, and who does not. Consider the users of the lift - are there service/trade users who will benefit. How busy is it on the intermediate floors. What happens in an emergency or peak hours.

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    Also hurray for a non desktop / mobile question. Nowadays I'd suggest that having to use a key to override is a bit old fashioned. Using a plastic card would be better as lost cards could be cancelled. – PhillipW Aug 19 '11 at 10:07

For a moment, let's just assume that it would be a desirable feature. Then the way that it is implement would definitly lack usability (weak affordance): as it is uncommon, the user needs to see an explicit sign that this lift can do this, and how the user can activate this. A label "hold down for express mode" would be a first step.

But then, I agree with Roger that it would be abused (that is, everybody (indivually) would want to go the fastest way possible, even if that means that everybody (globally) will take more time. See the Prisoner's dilemma.)

That's why I'd rather suggest that the automatic floor routing algorithm should be improved. The used algorithms range from really simple (in-lift commands have higher priority to outside commands) to standard (try to avoid changing direction) to advanced (try to minimize waiting time). But I have never seen a lift that detects when it is full and, thus, doesn't open the doors if nobody wants to get out.

A typical usability approach would be to go out and interview people that use the lift. What annoys them? Why? And only then: how could this be improved?

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