I live in a country where only a few (I've heard of 2 or 3) elevators has the option to toggle back a pressed button in order to cancel the request. Of course, I'm waiting for all elevator buttons everywhere to become toggleable some day...

Are there any standards regarding this, worldwide or national?

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    I certainly hope so, but so far doesn't seem to be happening
    – PatomaS
    Feb 5, 2014 at 3:15
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    What would happen if you clicked floor 4 and then unclicked it. WHERE SHOULD YOU GO? I just imagine the elevator opens to a black abyss. Feb 6, 2014 at 19:51
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    This question may be a duplicate of a question asked 2 years ago.. Also, a column in Forbes about this question. Feb 7, 2014 at 17:28
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    @VoronoiPotato - huh! nice thought. maybe you can't cancel a request until you push another button. i'm actually gonna go on a ride in such an elevator next week. i'll let you know what happens in such a case :) Feb 7, 2014 at 18:57
  • @user1757436 thanks! nice post, and i didn't find it when i looked up similar questions before posting.. Feb 7, 2014 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


It's not a good idea. Many people will find this useful, but few will be annoyed. I guess you're thinking that pressing floor "2" once will light up the button, pressing again will cancel it and turn off the backlit. Here's a problem:

Elevators are used by everyone, old people, blind people, kids, conveying the information that the button for a particular floor is already pressed or not in a way that everyone understands in just a second isn't an easy task. Visually impaired who use braille on those buttons will not be able to tell. People not familiar with this backlit on off design may misunderstand it easily.

It'll be way too annoying if the lift doesn't stop where intended. A lift occasionally stopping at an extra floor is way better than a lift that occasionally skips the desired floor out of misunderstanding.

  • well concluded, a lift that occasionally skips the desired floor would be too annoying. i've been struggling with this question ever since i was about five years old :) thanks man. Feb 5, 2014 at 0:18
  • although, regarding that people "won't be able to tell" - how about going back to basics and bringing back those push buttons - you press them in order to instruct the elevator on the desired floor, and they could pop out once the elevator had reached that floor. if you regret - simply depress them. this would be a perfect compromise, in my opinion. Feb 5, 2014 at 0:25
  • Let's go back to the actual problem: an elevator button was pushed erroneously. The need isn't to cancel, but rather not to encounter the problem in the first place. Looking at it that way, how can the button panel be designed to reduce the number of erroneous presses while still meeting its needs in terms of serving everyone?
    – nadyne
    Feb 5, 2014 at 2:43
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    The consideration of something new been annoying, strange, etc happens all the time, that's how we get used to new things, isn't? Now, back to the question, if you are in your house/building, and you have a few floors, it's not too bad if somebody presses an extra button, but when you are in a hotel, and kids press many buttons, or somebody forgets their floor, or decides to go down with their friend at a different floor, etc, is really annoying and time consuming for the rest of the people on the elevator
    – PatomaS
    Feb 5, 2014 at 3:14
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    REQUESTING a stop is a far more important & common operation than CANCELING a stop. The former should be easy and single-push (as it is). The latter need not be as simple a UI. In fact, canceling a stop is not an essential operation (obviously — we’ve lived this long without it). Therefore, some users (blind, perhaps) might not have as easy access to it. A fairly easy-to-understand UI would be to have a separate button labeled “Cancel Stop.” When pushed, it engages a cancel mode, which
    – jbx
    Feb 6, 2014 at 19:37

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