Archive for the ‘Everyday usability’ Category

Everyday Usability 39: How not to design a warning for distracted drivers

Hopefully someone only made a joke with this warning for distracted drivers:

Categories: Everyday usability

Everyday Usability 38: coffee break with Don Norman

October 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Discussion about conceptual models with Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini. The video is from 2013, but I just found it on YouTube. You can also find a link to the video on Don’s website:

Categories: Everyday usability

100% usable Product by Scott Adams

Categories: Everyday usability

Everyday Usability 38 – Usable doors, an up to date topic since 25 years

Don Norman recently shared a video, featuring him, about a very classic object of usability discussion – the door (see Don’s Website or the creator’s podcast). Don used doors as practical explanation for usability and why it is important to apply human-centered design in his book “The design of everyday things” 25 years ago (revision in 2013). Still some door designs confuses users (not to say cause much frustration) while applying a good design could be so easy. See the funny video:

Everyday Usability 37: Portable Bench

Just seen today in an old abbey:  a bench combined with a wheel. The bench could be even more functional if the wheel could be turned to 90 degree and be used as a table next to the bench.

2015-08-30 14.26.15 2015-08-30 14.26.29

Everyday Usability 36: Electronic Locks

Lately an electronic lock confused me, but to my rescue I have to say that it managed to confuse a friend of mine as well. The photo below shows the lock. Where would you place your key to open the door?

For me there appeared to be just one option, the metal circle below the handle. Unfortunately nothing happened when the key was pressed against it. Instead it turned out, after several trials, that the plastic structure on top was not only an aesthetic element but also the proper device to open the door. Rethinking the design I remember some electronic doors with a similar plastic device, but in my memory they have a small lamp indicating them as a device. Besides to add a lamp as visual cue it would have been much easier to open the door without the visually dominant metal circle below the handle. A company logo could have been integrated as engraving.

Electronic lock


Everyday Usability 35: Taxonomy of search terms

Searching for flights in the holiday season maybe a bit tedious. Luckily there are meta search engines which search through and compare the results of different travel agencies. We wanted to find flights to the Seychelles. As we had no knowledge about towns and airports we simply typed in Seychelles. As result the website returned that nothing was found. Interestingly, a second try with Mahe, the island with the capital city Victoria and location of the main airport, returned flights.


usability fault