The Literal Interface
Yesterday’s post about how touch-based interfaces disintermediate interaction brought to mind a 30-second vignette I witnessed at a hotel in Mexico last month. From behind sunglasses I watched several guests act out one of my favourite interface design rules: people try to interact with what they want to change.
There’s more than one problem with this sign, like the change from an action/outcome pairing to a translation pairing, but the real problem is that the buttons on the sign really look like buttons, and the arrow points right to them.
The sign, taken as an interface, was actually a legend to a pair of discrete buttons located elsewhere.
I admit it was a little funny to watch, but it was also a reminder of how we can do so much for people using our products by thinking carefully about where we place controls in relation to where the outputs occur.