29 Jul 2009, 10:30pm

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  • good & bad usablity
    the tap example

    Every­one inter­ested in HCI and Usabil­ity saw the cover pic­ture of The Design of Every­day Things by Don­ald Nor­man. But there are exam­ples about good and bad usabil­ity all around us, every day and I want to share one of mine.

    I real­ized how much more com­fort­able the shower tap at my par­ents place is, com­pared to the one in my shared flat.

    don't move! If you are lucky, the water gets only turned of... otherwise you get frozen or boiled...

    Don’t move! If you touch it and you are lucky, the water gets only turned off… oth­er­wise you get frozen or boiled.

    an good example of a water-tap for a shower

    A good exam­ple of a water-tap for a shower.


    The exam­ple to the left  is a typ­i­cal one — most prob­a­bly fol­low­ing an assump­tion like “this tap is work­ing for the wash­bowl, so it will do for a shower as well”. As it is mounted waist-high, it is easy to reach, also by mis­take, which can be quite dan­ger­ous as it can eas­ily be turned towards hot water by a slight touch. The re-engineered exam­ple on the right shows a func­tional and easy-to-use solu­tion, in addi­tion, the water tem­per­a­ture can be set up very pre­cisely, but most impor­tant, there is no way to change the water tem­per­a­ture by acci­dent as it is selected with a knob. Addi­tion­ally, due to the knob, its almost impos­si­ble to reach the han­dle, which is used to set up the water amount, by accident.