[PLUG-TALK] User interface design: putting form before function

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Wed Oct 12 12:44:58 PDT 2016


   Yesterday I had a very interesting lesson in why designers should put
function before form. In this case, it was the visual cue on how to open a
door.

   I attended meetings in a downtown Portland office tower. All the
conference room doors have vertical pipe handles on the outside. I, and
everyone else who did not work in those offices, pulled to open the door.
This did not work because the doors open into the rooms. Of course, the
insides of the doors also have long vertical pipe handles on them. These did
work for opening the door from the inside.

   We are so used to pulling on an vertical pipe handle to open a door, and
expect a metal plate on the wood door if it's to be pushed to open, that all
of us stood there pulling on the darn doors until someone inside told us to
push the things.

Rich



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