Up the Down Elevator

I work, along with all my coworkers that I have mentioned thus far (save the Bohemian Bachelor) on the top floor of the Zions building. When we approach the elevator up here, there is only one “call button” that we can push (as opposed to the other floors in the building that have two: down and up). It makes sense that there would be only one button; the elevator stops going up on our floor, so, of course, you can only go one way when entering the elevator.

When I time-to-time sneak into the office building basement for the ice cream and other fattening goodies, I have noticed that there are two buttons on the elevator. I am unsure why there are two buttons. There is no sub basement that the elevators we ride can access; the “down” button down there simply doesn’t do anything when pushed. It’s just sits, unused—perhaps in hopes that someday Zions will be able to access the lost subterranean country Bism.

On the other hand, automobiles have some subtle attributes that exhibit well thought out design. For example, in our automatic transmission Civic (the missus isn’t comfortable yet with a standard), we, like most, are unable to put the car into drive without fully pressing down the brake pedal. In my brother’s manual transmission Tacoma, he cannot start the truck without the clutch completely depressed (unless he pushes the override button).

Good design includes an easy pathway to obtaining the benefit of the product or service. That pathway includes some forcing of you to do the right thing. If you want users to act in a certain way, force it to happen. As Steve Krug reminds designers and design leaders, don’t make me think.

And consider that in reverse. If your design forces them to do something that isn’t necessary to be forced—remove it.

I have been thinking through this for us up here. Zions Direct Auctions has many aspects that I am quite proud of (as I have waxed on before), and with those positives, there are some design elements that we have seen as shortcomings and are adjusting as a result of user feedback. As such, soliciting this feedback is something we are continuing to do more purposefully, so that we can keep step with our users usability needs. With that in mind, if you have any feedback for us concerning your experiences with our auctions platform, please let us know by emailing marketing [at] zionsdirect [dot] com.

Let’s get this right.

Off subject: Slayer, my taciturn office neighbor, introduced me to TwitScoop and TweetDeck this morning. My initial problems/complaints with Twitter has now been rectified. These two services act to aggregate and categorize tweets in an easy-to-follow and searchable manner. If you use Twitter (and that includes you, that’s right you—Mr. or Ms. “I-Just-Started-Using-Twitter-Because-All-My-Fellow-Republicans-Are-Using-It“), you should give both of these services a try.


You may see that I like Zions Direct Auctions. I also work in marketing on that product, which means I may be a bit biased (but it also means I do something that I believe in).


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