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Incident Report: Elevator

Category:communicationDate of Incident:2002.01.11
Company:State Library of TasmaniaItem or Service:Elevator Directory


The State Library of Tasmania, located in downtown Hobart (population of Great Hobart around 180,000 in 2001) on the island of Tasmania off the southern coast of Australia, is a typical library of a medium-size city.

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The State Library of Tasmania recently updated their directory signage on each elevator landing, indicating what was on each of the four floors, designated G (ground), 1, 2, and 3. The directory sign places G at the top and 3 at the bottom as shown in the rather poor-quality photograph at right.

Think about it; that is blazingly wrong. Tasmania, though in the southern hemisphere, still builds buildings where the floor numbers increase upward, just like the rest of the world...

Scenario problems:

The sign company designed a sign in a vacuum. If they had thought about what it was used for, for one moment, they would have put G at the bottom and 3 at the top, in the same order as the physical building.

In a Nutshell:

Lo and behold, usability testing is needed for things besides software...

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