The 1000 Floor Elevator
One elevator, 1000 floors… plausible? Not exactly. Fun? Yes.
How do you design an elevator for a building with 1000 floors? Users need to quickly select their floor… perhaps with groceries in hand… and authenticate themselves if they are attempting to go to a secure floor. How do you do this with a minimum of user confusion and frustration? How do you re-invent the elevator?
This was our first challenge in CCA's Intro to IxD class.
My core guiding usability principle was that the interface should be no more difficult to use than a normal elevator, and involve no more steps, when possible. In a normal elevator, a user simply has to press a button. One action.
Here, a touch sensitive strip corresponds to a list of numbers that dynamically shift to fit the screen. Residents of the building may also navigate directly to their floor by tapping their RFID key to the interface.
Throughout, clear identifiers designate where the user is, and is going.
Need to get to your friend, but don't know what floor they're on? Voice recognition is an easy way to register input… but how to handle it in an elevator, where jabber is persistent? A clear, fun interface that presents choice also eases frustration, and typing is presented as an option for those who are voice-averse.