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Stupid Usability #16

That Way to the Skyway

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 1/6/2014

From the mind of Chad Heinle, Senior Consultant at High Monkey:

For those of you in warm climates that aren’t familiar with skyways, they are a fantastic way to keep out of the cold while traveling between buildings. Where skyways can be useful in the cold, as with many stupid usability isssues we see, the problem is when trying to get to said skyway, there are no standards (both icons and wording) to provide a description of where it is located. On top of that, even if a easily understood word is used, there is no consistency on where it is placed to direct people to the right place (or floor).

Recently while visiting a new location, we wanted to use the skyway. Most sky way access is from the second floor of a building, so when presented with the option below (the word “Skyway” equal distance from floors one and three), we picked the third floor. The thinking around that was skyways are up above ground and a higher floor made more sense. In the end, of course we made the wrong choice. Where statistically this was a 50/50 chance of getting it right, when people are faced with an unclear decision, we will tend to bring other variables into our process than just whats presented. In this particular situation, it was unclear whether the word 'skyway' was connected to the 1st or 3rd floor, so we used our experience to make an educated guess. The simple solution, instead of making us have to think more than we should have, is clearer marking on the elevator panel and the creators thinking so I don't have to.


Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 1/6/2014 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments