1000 Floor Elevator

Goal

Over the course of 1 week, we had a design challenge to come up with an elevator interface that services 1000 floors in a building. The prompt states that the building is for mixed retail, commercial and residential inhabitants. Additionally, we must consider how a rider selects a floor, how progress and floors are displayed, and how to access a secure floor

 

When designing the interface, I considered additional challenges such as accessibility, security, and directories. Due to a the nature of this assignment as UI exercise, I did not conduct any user research. When designing the elevator, I only spent time designing the internal and external UI panels. The physical design of the elevator and building were not in scope.

Solution

I designed the interface with the intention to keep existing mental models of elevators in existence today. Sometimes huge shifts in mental models can be very jarring to users, especially when the point of an interface is to provide efficiency and speed.

A directory is added to the outside of the elevator primarily because if there are a 1000 floors, users should have an opportunity to search and explore outside of the elevator a location they wanted to select before going inside. Since the elevator would only have a single panel, combining a directory and floor selection option inside the elevator would not be an efficient use of time for other passengers. 

An accessibility option at the bottom to allow for people who may be in wheelchairs to be able to quickly access it. It is disassociated with the main panel but has a large button because I did not want to give it too much prominence but still allow for those who are locating an accessibility option. A television is added to allow for entertainment for riders during the potentially long ride. An NFC card reader is added to the bottom to address security concerns.

The directory has a set of quick selection categories to represent commercial, residential, and working spaces. Users can enter the names by searching for a specific place or can discover what is available by scrolling through the drop down list. The directory also highlights the areas of the building so a user can tell where they are relative to the building.

For the elevator panel, there is a 10 digit numeric pad to allow for quick permutations of entering numbers between 1-1000. There is a button for the lobby to allow for a quick exit as that would be the most common selection for the elevator. For accessibility considerations, the panel should have haptic feedback as the user types on a number selection and feel the inputs. 

Showing progress of the floors would be important to show users as a form of feedback. Given that the ride could be potentially long, it lists out the floors that will be arriving at in order. There is a visual indicator to show if the elevator is moving up or down and which floor the elevator is currently on. Also since the elevator is so long, there is a display of time to next destination and the speed at which the elevator is moving to give users a piece of mind.

When a floor is entered that requires security access, the UI turns a certain color to indicate the floor is locked and the NFC reader will glow green. When the right access is granted, the floor will become unlocked and the NFC panel will turn a neutral gray color. NFC was the technology of choice because most users carry smart phones. Therefore it would be easy to validate or send access to a device that is already commonly used. Badges or cards can also be accepted. 

Lastly, there is a state diagram that represents the different stages in which a user can interact with a panel and what errors are thrown for feedback.

Takeaways

Given this was my first assignment in the program, I learned a lot more about how interaction models work together in an ecosystem. In an elevator ecosystem, there is more than just the panel that must be considered by how different types of people and situations people interact with it. 

If I had an opportunity to redo this project, I would reconsider how the directory and panel can be streamlined into a single experience from navigation to selection of a floor. Additionally, I would push concepts of accessibility in extreme situations where the user may be too far from the panel.