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Stupid Usability #104

Hot Seat

Written By: Joel Baglien
Posted: 6/15/2015

From the mind of Joel Baglien, VP of Business Growth at High Monkey:

Let me first go on the record as saying that I love Mazdas.  I drive a Mazda 3 (five door hatch), my son and one of my daughters also drive Mazda 3s, and my wife has a Mazda CX-5.  The CX-5 is Mazda's small-ish SUV.  My stupid usability beef is with the CX-5.
 
When you look at the center console of the CX-5, there are two surface mounted buttons in front of the gear shift to select the built-in seat heaters.  In Minnesota heated seats are a necessity for 4-5 months of the year.  The seat heater buttons are in a convenient location - easily accessed by passenger and driver, or are they?
 

 

 
Like most people, I don't carry my phone in a pocket when I drive - I don't like sitting on it.  My phone goes in whatever space is available in my car (or my wife's car) - empty cup holder, or open console compartment.  Here's where stupid usability comes into play with something as simple as the placement of a couple of buttons.
 

 
iPhones, Galaxies, and the like are JUST large enough when you set them (or toss them) in the console to land on one of the seat heater buttons and to switch it on.  The phone body also covers up the tiny lights showing that the seat heater is on.  It's not until a few minutes later when you entire backside is sweaty and burning hot that you notice what has happened.
 
It's not just me.  My wife has done this numerous times.  All three of my kids have done this.  I suspect if you ask other CX-5 owners who have seat heaters, they will corroborate this incident of stupid usability . . .
 
that is, unless Mazda intended the unintentional hot seat to be a feature.

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: 6/15/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments