Bad UX (The Handle)

Since I’ve been doing more front-end development, I’ve been asked to delve into user experience (UX) design. The more I research, the more examples of bad UX I see. Not just in software but in the world in general.

In the office building where I am currently working, they recently installed an elevator. It’s kind of an after-thought elevator. I’m sure it is a measure to comply with disabled employees who need to get to the second floor of this older, small office complex.

When the installers finished, I went to take a look… just to see what an “aftermarket” elevator looks like. I was surprised to see the door to the elevator with this handle (and sign).

Bad Handle

Now the handle is obviously for some sort of manual override (probably for emergency opening). The problem is, they used the same handle that users (of doors) are used to seeing on doors that they are meant to open manually, using that handle. Door users have been conditioned to see this bright silver handle, shaped like a door handle, and pull on it. They do it instinctively.

They could have added a recessed handle that was a bit hidden, only to be used by technicians, or in an emergency. They might not have needed to put up a sign telling people not to pull on that handle.

The biggest problem I see, is that people are probably going to pull on this handle regularly. That will probably cause this elevator to break prematurely, and probably regularly.