John Graham-Cumming: The Elevator Button Problem
User interface design is hard. It's hard because people perceive apparently simple things very differently. For example, take a look at this interface to an elevator:
Now imagine the following situation. You are on the third floor of this building and you wish to go to the tenth. The elevator is on the fifth floor and there's an indicator that tells you where it is. Which button do you press?
Most people probably say: "press up" since they want to go up. Not long ago I watched someone do the opposite and questioned them about their behavior. They said: "well the elevator is on the fifth floor and I am on the third, so I want it to come down to me".