My focus is on making software, coaching Agile/Scrum teams, and being a husband and father--definitely not on blogging--so please do not expect very frequent posts here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Which of these things does the arrow belong to? - UX in the wild

Even simple signs have UX concerns. Take this sign, in San Francisco:

I ask you this: does this sign mean the general entry is here, and that the handicap-accessible entry is to your right?  Or does it mean the entry is to your right, and it is also handicap accessible?
My first thought was the former.  Why? Having the wheelchair symbol and the arrow on the same line implies a stronger relationship than with the information above it.  To most people, they don’t think about this directly, but they intuitively process the arrow and what it means.
I looked in my immediate vicinity and did not see any entries.  I concluded the meaning must be the latter.

A better sign would have been:

Also, if the entry be handicap accessible, there be no need to call that fact out, as it isn’t special. You only need to know where the handicap-accessible entrance is if the main entrance isn’t so accessible.  I submit the best sign therefore would be:

(Of course, the arrow should be centered and not have a blotchy background, but that’s just digital manipulation error.  No, I am not going to spend the time to fix it!)

Bonus UX problem: this entry was on the southeast side of the building.  Maybe it should have been called the Moscone Center West South East Entry For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too

Or, maybe you just shouldn’t name buildings after ordinal directions.

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