Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Standards are our friends

We recently bought a new car which I happen to use from time to time, alternating it with my beloved Seat Leon.
As soon as the new car came home, I started having problems with opening and closing cars using a remote control - which I never had before - to the point I left this new car open in a parking lot all day.

It wasn't until I had both the key in my hand that I realize the issue: I was blaming myself, yet it was a usability problem!

As you can see the button to open the new car (remote control on the right) is in the exact same position than the button for closing the older car (remote control on the left - the one I'm used to). Bingo!

This story reminds me of the importance of standards.
Defining standards, even in small things such as remote car controls button positioning, would lead to less distress in the user. For not having to think too much when performing small tasks is, in the end, an improvement to people's life - which is the ultimate design goal.

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