Questions tagged [physical]

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

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Is there a methodology or color choice that allows an app's UI to be more visible in outdoor conditions? [duplicate]

I saw this question on another Q&A website and was wondering the same. This is a question that resurfaces from time to time, even on this website, where there are several questions with no answer, ...
Devin's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
179 views

Could elevators not have call buttons?

Do elevators need call buttons? Shouldn't the elevator be called if someone stands in front of the door? I see many questions about people pressing the buttons for different banks of elevators and so ...
Ella Vader's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
165 views

Is "at the front" top, or bottom?

At our office we have a dual garbage bin behind a door. Let's put aside the fact that you have to open a door, and then pull out the bins. What has puzzled me is that the labels were placed on each ...
Koert van Kleef's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

How small preferences in microwave ovens are chosen by the manufacturers

Dealing with several microwave ovens during the lifetime I find that there are at least a couple of peculiarities I'd rather have my way, but they're not usually listed in specifications. I'm not ...
andromax's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
90 views

LED blink pattern on Boot - Any best practices for UX?

I have an embedded device. During the boot process, the only feedback the user receives comes from a programmable RGB LED. That is, I am able to blink, fade, turn on/off etc. The whole boot process ...
Mo_'s user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
154 views

Why did Ergonomics and Physical UX "fall out of the map" in the UX field?

As most UX professionals know, UX essentially began with Ergonomics and Human Factors, and from there it evolved by incorporating additional disciplines, particularly those related to the digital ...
Devin's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
139 views

Best UX pattern for uploading multiple pictures on a mosaic

I am building an online print on demand tool. The final result is a physical object with several faces, each face containing an user-uploaded picture. I want users to be able to upload a pictures from ...
tctc's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
70 views

Why does the Apple Watch SOS feature require you to swipe instead of press?

I'm looking at the SOS features across smartwatches. I'm curious why does the Apple SOS feature require you to swipe instead of simply having buttons to press? It seems counter-intuitive to make it ...
Blue Ocean's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
83 views

Automated Machinery with On/Off states and Auto On/Off states

Background and question There's been a few discussions around clearly showing to users on/off and auto states. However, I'd like to focus on automated controls in the context of machinery with moving ...
Stephen Kung's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Spring force for physical push buttons

Are there any design guides or existing studies that provide recommendations for the spring force (e.g. initial force [lb, kg] and force increase [lb/in, kg/mm]) of a physical momentary push button ...
Jason C's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
59 views

Designing interface to accommodate physical devices with different number & layout of ports

The following device is a network switch. This particular model contains 24 ports, arranged into 2 rows with 12 ports on each. There exists hundreds of models of switches, each with different number &...
cgtk's user avatar
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28 votes
9 answers
6k views

QR vs Barcode vs Custom Code

Scenario We must identify persons and also associate objects with them. This is for a very large cerebral palsy center for children that provides various services, some in different buildings (there ...
Devin's user avatar
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15 votes
7 answers
4k views

Does an on/off switch still means on/off when positioned horizontally?

I'm working on a custom piece of hardware where a fan is turned on and off automatically. The user can override the decision of the automatic system through a switch. Activating the switch when the ...
Arseni Mourzenko's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Why are stove controls like this?

Most UIs that show incremental controls provide consistent levels. For example, a volume control will incrementally change sound from inaudible to maximum levels of loudness with a consistent change ...
Izquierdo's user avatar
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94 votes
26 answers
19k views

How to avoid the "local elevator" problem?

I live in a high-rise apartment building in New York. Our building has four resident elevators which each serve every residential floor. (An additional fifth elevator (physically separated from the ...
esqew's user avatar
  • 1,071
3 votes
1 answer
105 views

Most visible wavelength/ color for mesopic vision

Is there an established study that demonstrates which is the most visible wavelength range under Mesopic Vision conditions? Ideally, they shouldn't refer to Scotopic Vision (since I have enough data ...
Devin's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
187 views

Modifying a rotary ceiling fan dial so it can be operated by touch

My ceiling fans are controlled by wall dials. The dial has 5 positions - off,1,2,3,4 - and spins between them without stopping (meaning you can turn from off to both 1 and 4 directly, the rotation is ...
Jonathan's user avatar
  • 737
6 votes
1 answer
166 views

Why get rid of transponder-read status lights at tolls?

When driving through a toll both with a transponder, it is common to have some form of display feedback to the driver. For example, the US state of Maryland has an explanation here showing the three ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 437
1 vote
3 answers
140 views

Why use a discrete representation for continuous quantities?

Is there any reason to use a discrete representation (like number of stars) for continuous quantities (like a progress bar)? This is assuming we don't want to show an exact number. (Yes I understand ...
JMekker's user avatar
  • 111
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why do American windows open upwards?

I've seen a lot of windows in the US that open by sliding upwards. I'm from Europe where all windows open sideways by pivoting on hinges. I was wondering why the reasons are and why they are so ...
Pips's user avatar
  • 173
2 votes
1 answer
127 views

Physical device and app user testing

I'm looking for any resources that you might know of that deals with user testing a physical device, in this case, a toy, that works with an app. I've searched a few times and haven't found any ...
saracern's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
546 views

Why is there a small gap between the usb port and laptop skin? [closed]

I've noticed a small gap between the point the USB port starts (metal part) and the external surface of the laptop or PC. You can clearly see it in the picture. . Thanks
Bharath's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
771 views

Metro station stop design to prevent people from commiting suicide

How to design a metro train stop that would prevent people from endangering themselves by accessing the rails when a metro arrives (perhaps by implementing the design of special doors or elevators ...
Joselin Jocklingson's user avatar
267 votes
14 answers
59k views

What's wrong with USB sticks that you need 3 tries to plug them in correctly?

You've all probably experienced this at least once: trying multiple times to plug in a USB stick correctly, because somehow it isn't intuitive what side goes up. This is especially the case when the ...
stackzebra's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
132k views

does a pushed button with I and O on it mean it is on or off

I am trying to charge a childs electric car. It says to make sure it is in the off position while charging. However, it is a button that goes in or out. How do I know whether pushing the button in ...
V trader's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
253 views

Are shoelaces replaceable by more usable alternatives? If so why are they still so common?

Compared to alternatives like velcro (which have been around for quite some time) or mechanisms that allow you to tighten shoes with a twisting mechanism (as seen on some of the football boots), ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 27.1k
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are tactile ground surface indicators potential slip hazards?

For those who are not familiar with the technical sounding term for something that you see in normal everyday life in the city, tactile pavings, also known as tactile ground surface indicators (TGSI) ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 27.1k
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

Design systems that cover both physical and digital use cases

When companies created design systems, it is typically applied to their products and services rather than something that can be used throughout the entire organisations. Atlassian's update of their ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 27.1k
8 votes
2 answers
540 views

Direct users to use a physical button

I'm designing a touch screen user interface to control a physical robot. The interface also includes physical buttons, similar to how a cell phone has touch screen elements and physical home buttons, ...
jekso's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is the button to open a microwave door always hard to push? [closed]

Every microwave I've encountered always has the same feature - an unusually resistant "open microwave door" button. Why is the button to open a microwave door always more resistant than buttons on ...
RobbyReindeer's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
239 views

Alternative to "click cycle" without cumbersome UI?

The A/V receiver in my living room has a "click cycle" functionality. There's a button labeled "Mode." It changes the mode every time you press it. If you accidentally miss the desired option, you ...
clickbait's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
86 views

Why are European recycling codes so complicated? [closed]

Each time I recycle my garbage, I must wonder why are these European recycling symbols so complicated. For example this one: This symbol is really cryptic for me as a user. PP could stand for both "...
vojta's user avatar
  • 131
11 votes
3 answers
902 views

Why do 4-wheel suitcases usually have their wheels on the short side, rather than the long side?

In a 4-wheeled suitcase, there are three possible ends to put the wheels. Most commonly, the wheels are at the short end: Public domain image I find it hard to keep them on 4 wheels; one has to ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 2,556
2 votes
2 answers
463 views

Car safety assist dropping speed automatically

Would this be considered good UX if the car in safety assist mode would drop the speed automatically to adjust with the car in front instead of informing the driver of getting too close? This is ...
Ivan Venediktov's user avatar
36 votes
11 answers
12k views

Door handle on automatic doors - why?

I was traveling by train, and I came across the board toilet in the picture below: Unlike other board toilets I encountered so far, this one had an automatic door. At least this is what I suspected ...
M. Winter's user avatar
  • 1,617
1 vote
2 answers
98 views

Visibility of touch buttons?

At my workplace, I have a monitor of reputed company with touch buttons with back-light which aren't visible unless the monitor is switched on. This includes the power button. Occasionally, I spend ...
Ritesh Singh's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
535 views

The return of skeuomorphism and the importance of physical design in UX [closed]

I read all articles that talk about trends with interest, as my personal philosophy with UX design is not to go with the latest trends but pick the solution that best solves the problem. So it was ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 27.1k
2 votes
2 answers
350 views

Why many car manufacturers still use gearstick / gearshift for automatic transmissions? [closed]

Why gear selectors for automatic transmission are still made in form of the gear stick for manual transmissions? Isn't this useless waste of space? There are at least two other possibilities (both ...
UXP's user avatar
  • 159
10 votes
1 answer
371 views

Why do mobile phones require to "send" a dialed number?

In phone devices with rotary or touch tone dials you can just dial the number and the call will be made. It may happen that the call won't be made, or the user will dial a wrong number. However, the ...
Devin's user avatar
  • 38k
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Why are car keys and house keys different?

When inserting a car key into the ignition, I am able to do so quickly and easily, without having to carefully line up the key with the keyhole. I can do this despite the fact that the keyhole is ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

On water fountains, why the blue tap is supposed to be colder than the white one?

Water fountains often propose two taps, one with cold water and one with water at ambient temperature. In my experience the cold one is labeled with a blue color while the ambient one with white color....
user3918754's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
636 views

Why aren't all headphone connectors on the left?

Most every pair of wired headphones has the cable attached to the left earcup, probably for reasons similar to why most of the microphones are placed on the left. One would expect then that devices ...
Nico Schlömer's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

'turn over' on a leaflet

Not too sure if this question should be here or not, but regardless. Should a leaflet have 'turn over' written at the bottom centre to let the viewer know there is another side, or will they ...
Josh Murray's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
154 views

How do people with vision impairment access buildings requiring a swipe card?

With many of the commercial and corporate buildings now having more strict control around entries and exits, I was wondering in terms of accessibility how people with vision impairment are provided ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 27.1k
-1 votes
1 answer
64 views

In hotel lifts requiring swipe card access, is it normal to swipe or press the floor button first?

Having been overseas to a number of different countries recently, I noticed that there doesn't seem to be any convention when it comes to the way people are meant to use the hotel lifts. Some guests ...
Michael Lai's user avatar
  • 27.1k
1 vote
2 answers
973 views

Why don't traffic lights include the time until the light goes red or goes green?

Whenever I am driving I try to speed through the light when it is yellow and it is always stressful trying to get through before it becomes red. Street crossing lights have a countdown number that ...
KevinZ's user avatar
  • 225
2 votes
2 answers
589 views

How am I expected to carry a key fob equivalent of a smart card attached to my key ring?

A number of wireless smart card issuers is promoting so-called payments tags or key fobs - that's a small wireless device which can be used in place of a wireless payment card or wireless transport ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 5,897
2 votes
2 answers
195 views

What research exists into user experience design factors for the design of ovens and cooktops?

TL;DR I am after UX research into the design of ovens and/or cooktops, or research that can be applied to their design. Any references would be most appreciated, especially if they cover the ...
Monomeeth's user avatar
  • 3,826
1 vote
1 answer
445 views

Is there evidence that shows stairs with open risers are less safe than those with risers

I know code allows open risers but I am trying to find more definitive information on safe design. As usual, opinion and anecdote is easy to find but I haven't seen a more academic/scientific look at, ...
MrFinn's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why do we have both backspace and delete keys on most keyboards?

I wonder why both backspace and delete keys exist on so many keyboards. For example, the commonly used 104-key PC US English QWERTY keyboard: Personally I prefer backspace, and would only use delete ...
nalzok's user avatar
  • 171

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