Unremarkable experiences - Designing the user experience of elevators

  • Rebekah Rousi Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Keywords: Elevators, User experience, Design, Cognition, Consciousness


Elevators enable people and goods to be transported to great heights at substantial speeds.The feats required technologically for suspension, movement, controls and safety are no less than remarkable. This is increasingly so when considering the competing new heights of skyscrapers. Although technological accomplishments are becoming ever more extraordinary, for the sake of those using the technologies, there is also the need to counter this remarkableness and consider the unremarkable as an experiential design goal. 

Discourse in user experience (UX) has mainly focused on designing for positive, affective and memorable experiences. However, in the case of utilitarian technologies such as elevators often good or positive experiences go unnoticed. The current study’s findings show just this. This article describes a study of UX with elevators using field observations and short interviews. 

Positive experiences were reflected in quantitative opinion scales related to the elevators under study. Negative experiences regarding previous elevator experiences were qualitatively recollected without prompting. The age and the detail of the recollected experiences suggest the significance negative (remarkable) events have on memory, influencing current and future impressions of elevator design. This calls for UX attention to be placed on designing for the unremarkable.



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How to Cite
Rousi, R. (2016) “Unremarkable experiences - Designing the user experience of elevators”, Swedish Design Research Journal, 11(1), pp. 47-54. doi: 10.3384/svid.2000-964X.14147.
Research articles