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. . . which seems a good time to mention a wonderful book called 'The Design of Everyday Things' (can't remember author's name at present, apologies) which discusses topics like this.

Donald A. Norman. The book was originally published in 1988 as "The Psychology of Everyday Things", as it's about psychological aspects of design, as opposed to cosmetic ones. For me this title conveyed the book's intent perfectly, but people who actually work in the field tended to ignore it because they didn't think of what they do as related to psychology, so the other title was adopted.

The author's website says it was reprinted in 2002.
Mark Brader "If you design for compatibility with a Toronto donkey cart, what you get is a donkey cart." (Email Removed) ?, quoted by Henry Spencer

My text in this article is in the public domain.
Well, yes. I don't think that is in question. The ... the doors or the desired state after pushing the button.

Other people are complaining about messages being canceled or inaccessible, but I'm getting the opposite I got this particular ... Every message of yours for the last couple of days is coming in multiples, Steve. Only yours. It's probably sunspots.

And I see this for the message to which you are replying:

(Sorry. This message is no longer available.)
So I repost to make it abvailable.
But rather discuss this in the "Disappearing messages" thread.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
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If Steve saw it as I do, the immediate dominants are and which say 'closed doors' and 'open doors' respectively.

and it only makes sense to open closed doors and to close open doors - you can't open an open door or close a closed one.

Well, you can't open an open door, but you can hold an open door open for a longer period of time.
Tonight I returned to the scene of the elevator,
carrying the collective wisdom of aue.
Ray Heindl said I should push buttons. When the elevator opened I pushed close, then rear open, then close, then ...; then the constant dinging started and either I had a very confused elevator, or else the elevator had identified a troublemaker. I nonchalantly exited the elevator.
The ones inside made more sense anyway, with front and rear doors on both floors. These are shopping cart elevators, fairly long. You enter at the front door then push straight ahead to exit at the rear. The controls are at the side. Incidentally the longness makes the wave-an-arm-in-the-opening method impractical you would have to lunge away from the controls first. Inside I made this official aue document using advanced ball-point-pen technology.
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Joseph Turian suggested:
Perhaps the top set is front and the bottom set is rear.
"How ridiculous", I thought when I read that, "obviously the buttons for the rear should be near the rear and the buttons for the front should be near the front".
But Joseph had it right ... almost. Which makes sense in that people are used to the open/close being left/right pairs. The strange thing was that the rear buttons were on top.

My button pushing was more restrained this time. Hitting a close button sent the elevator on its way. I said before that it was a simple elevator. In normal operation it is. You enter on say floor 1 and push the button for floor 2 which is thoughtfully lit. No choices really, pushing the button for floor 1 does nothing. I realize now why I was bothered though. The lit button is supposed to be the floor that you are on.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. (and why does the close wait 3 seconds before responding?)
Richard Maurer:
You enter on say floor 1 and push the button for floor 2 which is thoughtfully lit. ... The lit button is supposed to be the floor that you are on.

I have very occasionally seen that, but far more common is that each button is lit from when you push it until you arrive at that floor.

Incidentally, a new elevator that I sometimes use has buttons that beep when they are pushed, presumably in case the user is blind and can't see them lighting up. However, the beep sounds as soon as you start* to push the button. If you respond to the sound, as all my instincts call for, by *immediately releasing the button, then nothing happens: as with many systems using pushbuttons, a momentary contact isn't registered. You have to hold the button down for a moment not long, maybe 1/4 or 1/2 second, but long enough. If not for the beep, I would do that naturally, but the premature beep tells me, wrongly, that I shouldn't. And if I actually was blind, that would be rather annoying.

Mark Brader "This may represent a minor inconvenience ... Toronto I say 'minor' because I'm not doing the work." (Email Removed) Topher Eliot

My text in this article is in the public domain.
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You enter on say floor 1 and push the button for floor 2 which is thoughtfully lit. ... The lit button
is supposed to be the floor that you are on.

I have very occasionally seen that, but far more common is that each button is lit from when you push it until you arrive at that floor.
Ahhh, you are right.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also.
Incidentally, a new elevator that I sometimes use has buttons that beep when they are pushed, presumably in case the ... the premature beep tells me, wrongly, that I shouldn't. And if I actually was blind, that would be rather annoying.

Kingston Hospital (Surrey) appear to have called Microsoft in to redesign the set-up. There is no audible cue at all, and they have thoughtfully removed the indicators which told you which floor you had reached. The ground floor is numbered "3", but you have to work that out for yourself, after the momentary bafflement caused by the absence of a button marked "1".

Mike.
Our new office building has voice announcements when you're arriving at a floor; unfortunately the sound isn't insulated very well between the seven (?) lifts, so you will hear announcements for floors you're not arriving at, or of course for the "wrong" floor.

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
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