Unremarkable experiences - Designing the user experience of elevators
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.
Arhippainen, L. (2010) Studying User Experience: Issuesand Problems of Mobile Services – Case ADAMOS:User Experience (Im)possible to Catch? PhD thesis, OuluUniversity, Oulu.
Berridge, K. (2009) “Wanting and liking: observations fromthe neuroscience and psychology laboratory”, Inquiry, Vol.52, No. 4, pp. 378–398.
Blythe, M., Overbeeke, C., Monk, A.F. & Wright, P.C.(2003, Eds.) Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment, Kluwer,Dordrecht, pp. 31–42.
Brosch, T. (2013) “Comment: On the role of appraisalprocesses in the construction of emotion”, Emotion Review,Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 369–373.
Carroll, J.M. & Thomas, J.C. (1988) “Fun”, SIGCHIBulletin, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 21–24.Chalmers, D. (2004) “The representational character ofexperience”, in Leiter, B. (Ed.) The Future for Philosophy,Oxford University Press, Oxford, available at http://consc.net/papers/representation.html (accessed 19 April 2013).
Davis, F.D. (1989) “Perceived usefulness, perceived ease ofuse, and user acceptance of information technology”, MISQuarterly, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 319–340.Desmet, P. (2002) Designing Emotions. PhD thesis, DelftUniversity of Technology, Delft.
Desmet, P. & Hekkert, P. (2002) “The basics of productemotions”, in Green, W. and Jordan, P. (Eds.), Pleasure withProducts, Beyond Usability, Taylor and Francis, London, pp.60–68.
Deterding, S., Sicart, M., Nacke, L., O’Hara, K. & Dixon,D. (2011) “Gamification: using game-design elements innongaming contexts”, in Tan, D., Begole, B. and Kellogg, W.(Eds.), Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference ExtendedAbstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.2425–2428, available at: http://gamification-research.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/01-Deterding-Sicart-Nacke-OHara-Dixon.pdf (accessed 29 April 2013).
Draper, S.W. (1999) “Analysing fun as a candidate softwarerequirement”, Personal Technology, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp.117–122.
Frijda, N. (1988) “The laws of emotion”, AmericanPsychologist, Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 349–358.
Gaver, W.W. (2002) “Designing for homo ludens”,i3 Magazine, Vol. 12, No. 2–6. available at: http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/27gaver.ludens.02.pdf (accessed 26 February 2013).
Gaver, B. & Martin, H. (2000) “Alternatives: exploringinformation appliances through conceptual designproposals”, in Turner, T. and Szwillus, G. (Eds.), CHILetters, Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on HumanFactors in Computing Systems (CHI’00), pp. 209–216.
Gray, L.E. (2002) From Ascending Rooms to ExpressElevators: A History of the Passenger Elevator in the 19thCentury, Elevator World Inc, Mobile AL.
Gulden, T. & Moestue, C. (2011) “A psychology-baseddesign tool, towards sustainable consumption throughextending the product lifestime”, Roozenburg, N., Chen, L.and Stappers, P. (Eds.), Diversity and Unity, Proceedings ofthe IASDR2011 4th World Conference on Design Research,pp. 1–12.
Harman, G. (2002) Tool-being: Heidegger and theMetaphysics of Objects. Open Court Publishing, Peru, IL.
Hassenzahl, M. (2003) “The thing and I – Understanding the relationship between user and product”, inBlythe, M., Overbeeke, K. & Monk, A. (Eds.), Funology:From Usability to Enjoyment (Human-Computer InteractionSeries, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, pp.31–42.
Hassenzahl, M. & Tractinsky, N. (2006) “User experience –A research agenda”, Behaviour & Information Technology,Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 91–97.Hekkert, P. (2006) “Design aesthetics: principles of pleasurein design”, Journal of Psychology Science, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp.157–172.
Heidegger, M. (1996) Being and Time (Sein und Zeit).Translated by Stambaugh, J., State University of New York,Albany, NY.
Jordan, P. (1998) An Introduction to Usability, Taylor andFrancis, London/New York.
Jordan, P. (2000) Designing Pleasurable Products. AnIntroduction to the New Human Factors, Taylor and Francis,London/New York.
Kensinger, E.A. (2009) “Remembering the details: Effects ofemotion”, Emotion Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 99–113.
Kuniavsky, M. (2003) Observing the User Experience, aPractitioner’s Guide to User Research, Morgan Kauffman,Burlington,MA.
Mahlke, S. & Thüring, M. (2007) “Studying antecedents ofemotional experiences in interactive contexts”, in Rosson, M.& Gilmore, D. (Eds.), Emotion and Empathy, Proceedingsof the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computingsystems, ACM, New York, NY, pp. 915–918.
McCarthy, J. & Wright, P.C. (2004) Technology asExperience. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Ortony, A., Clore, G.L., & Collins, A. (1988) The CognitiveStructure of Emotions, Cambridge University Press,Cambridge, MA.
Peirce, C.S. (2009) The Writings of Charles S. Peirce, aChronological Edition, Vol. 8: 1890–1892, Indiana University,Bloomington, IN.
Rauterberg, M. (2010) “Emotions as a communicationmedium between the unconscious and the conscious”,Cultural Computing, IFIP Advances in Information andCommunication Technology, Vol. 333, pp. 198–207.
Roto, V., Law, E., Vermeeren, A. & Hoonhout, J. (2011Eds.) “User experience white paper – Bringing clarity to theconcept of user experience”. Result from Dagstuhl seminaron demarcating user experience, September 15–18, 2010,available at: http://www.allaboutux.org/files/UX-WhitePaper.pdf (accessed 23 January 2013).
Searle, J. (1991) “Consciousness, unconsciousness, andintentionality”, Philosophical Issues – Consciousness,Vol. 1, pp. 45–66.
Shneiderman, B. (2004) “Designing for fun: how can wedesign user interfaces to be more fun?”, interactions,Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 48–50.
Tractinsky, N., Katz, A.S. & Ikar, D. (2000) “What isbeautiful is usable”, Interacting with Computers,Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 127–145, available at: http://www.ise.bgu.ac.il/faculty/noam/papers/00_nt_ask_di_iwc.pdf (accessed 23 March 2013).
Von Duuglas-Ittu, K. (2009) “Frames/sing – checkingHeidegger’s Hammer: the pleasure and director of theWhirr”, available at: http://kvond.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/heideggers-hammer-the-pleasure-and-direction-of-the-whirr/ (accessed 12 March 2014).
Winkielman, P. & Berridge, K.C. (2004) “Unconsciousemotion”, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol.13, No. 3, pp. 120–123