Does anyone here understand elevator symbols?
Tonight I was in an elevator which perplexed me again. There are 4 buttons that I finally figured out are in the 'door open' and 'door close' category, although it is not immediately clear which is which. Why four? The symbols are tall triangles that either face each other or face away. Two are just the triangles, and two have a line in the middle. The other perplexing thing is about the braille text. I can read bits even if I cannot read a single braille character the braille for the two open buttons is exactly the same, and the braille for the two close buttons is exactly the same. The line in the middle does not matter.

This is a simple elevator. All it does is go from '1' to '2', and then back down.
I found a page that had some elevator symbols

that did not show that button layout,
but did include the comforting line:
No one can recognize the standard open-door icon
quickly enough to prevent the door from shutting
in the face of a would-be passenger.
Besides that, I was prompted to write tonight because my sororal passenger commented that she was afraid to press any buttons because they might mean 'open', but then again it might mean 'turn on the sprinklers'. That was my reaction months ago when someone was hurrying towards
the door.
I thought this might be US specific, but that web page implies that the symbols are international (1),
so we all can play.
(1) though the many variations show that the
standard is often shot at and missed.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. (got carried away with the sprinkler part)
1 2 3 4 5 6
(quoting) No one can recognize the standard open-door icon quickly enough to prevent the door from shutting in the face of a would-be passenger.

Quite. There should be a big red button actually *on* each door. Or, if a moving target is deemed too risky, beside the door, separate from the main control panel.
Better still, use the stairs. It's good for you.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
Does anyone here understand elevator symbols? Tonight I was in an elevator which perplexed me again. There are 4 buttons ... remove half Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. (got carried away with the sprinkler part)

The symbols you have in mind looks like the following, I take it:
For "open"
/> > >\
\> > >/
For "close"
\ > /> / > \>

The triangles are arrowheads pointing to the direction in which the door moves for the action in question.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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Does anyone here understand elevator symbols? Tonight I was in an elevator which perplexed me again.

snip
The triangles are arrowheads pointing to the direction in which the door moves for the action in question.

I don't have a problem understanding the symbols they've always been self-explanatory to me but I often (even usually) find that there's no rapid way to distinguish them when under pressure to do so. (That is, when the doors are starting to close and I spot someone coming towards the lift.)
So although I'm fully aware of what the symbols mean, my experience chimes entirely with what was stated on the website Richard cited:
No one can recognize the standard open-door icon quickly enough to prevent the door from shutting in the face of a would-be passenger.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
Does anyone here understand elevator symbols? Tonight I was in ... is go from '1' to '2', and then back down.

The symbols you have in mind looks like the following, I take it: For "open" /> > >\ \> > >/ For "close"

\ > /> / > \>

The triangles are arrowheads pointing to the direction in which the door moves for the action in question.

True, but the way I see it, those are the symbols for only two of the four buttons Richard described.
The other symbols were:
/> >\
\> >/
and
\ /> / \>

His question was about the difference in function between the two pairs of buttons.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
The symbols you have in mind looks like the following, I take it:
For "open"
/> > >\
\> > >/
For "close"
\ > /> / > \>

The triangles are arrowheads pointing to the direction in which the door moves for the action in question.

True, but the way I see it, those are the symbols for only two of the four buttons Richard described.
The other symbols were:
/> >\
\> >/
and
\ /> / \>

His question was about the difference in function
between the two pairs of buttons.
Skitt understood the question.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. (word of the day forgetive)
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Does anyone here understand elevator symbols? Tonight I was in an elevator which perplexed me again. There are 4 buttons ... and the braille for the two close buttons is exactly the same. The line in the middle does not matter.

Have you tried all four buttons to see what they do? One possibility is that the control panel was meant for an elevator with doors on both sides, with one set of buttons controlling the "front" doors and the other set the "rear". Such an arrangement makes it even harder to hit the correct button in a hurry.
An extra "open" button might be intended to keep the doors open indefinitely, but I can't imagine a good reason for a corresponding "close" button, except maybe to override the former.

Or maybe the extras are placebos, like many of the pedestrian-street- crossing buttons in my area.

Ray Heindl
(remove the Xs to reply)
snip
Or maybe the extras are placebos, like many of the pedestrian-street- crossing buttons in my area.

Oh, those they're just there so you'll have something to occupy your time while you're waiting for the light to change.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
Tonight I was in an elevator which perplexed me again. There are 4 buttons that I finally figured out are ... and the braille for the two close buttons is exactly the same. The line in the middle does not matter.

Perhaps one pair of buttons does something different when the lift is in "attended" mode (and there are no blind attendants). For instance, open and stay* open, close and *stay closed. Not very likely I know but I can't think of anything better at the moment.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
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