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Stupid Usability #101

Too Much Security

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 5/18/2015

From the mind of Joe Cronin, Project Manager at High Monkey:

At my daughter’s daycare center there is a lock on the front door that requires each parent to enter a passcode in order to get into the center. In an effort to increase the security of the building and increase the safety of my child, the center recently installed locks on each of the classroom doors. They also instituted a new policy that all classroom doors would close at 9:00 am and re-open at 4:00 pm. The goal of this initiative was to provide a secondary layer of security in case of a building intruder. It sounded reasonable at the time and all of us parents thought that it made sense to make this update. The new locked door initiative seemed to be going well until I received a call one day to come pick my daughter up because she had a fever. When I arrived to daycare at 1:00 pm that day, I noticed that all of the classroom doors were propped open with an assortment of toys and office supplies.

When I asked her teacher why the doors were propped open, she revealed a key point about the way the daycare center works. Each room is assigned a lead teacher along with two support staff in order to keep the ratio of students to teachers at the legally required limit of 5 infants to 1 teacher. Along with the assigned staff for each room, there are some floating support staff who are moved from room to room throughout the day so that the room staff can take lunch breaks and bathroom breaks. The locks on the doors prevented the floating staff from doing their job of moving from room to room, so instead of needing to have teachers open the doors every time support staff needs to move around, they ended up propping the doors open so that support staff can move freely.

This Stupid Usability issue occurred because no one put thought into how the new process would affect the day to day users of the classroom doors of the center. It sounded great for the parents, who only use the doors twice each day (dropping off and picking up), but was very impractical for the staff who need to go in and out of the classrooms multiple times every hour.

At High Monkey, we make sure to think about how our designs affect both the occasional user (visitors to your site) and also the daily users (content contributors, web admins, etc.). We want to make sure that your site looks awesome and is insanely usable by your external users, but we also want to make sure that the people on your front lines, the content contributors and web admins, are able to add and update content easily so that your site can keep looking awesome!

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: 5/18/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments