Design research: First-time users

Yesterday, Daan Roosegaarde showed me this film of first-time users of an escalator. Some internet commenters were quick to call these people stupid. That’s unfair! These people have never experienced an escalator and they have the guts to get on it! When something is familiar to us, we often forget that we had to learn how to use something.

 

Stupid design

These people aren’t stupid, the design is! I think it violates most of the principles of behaviour design. The design is not intuitive, not flexible and there is no sense of control. Obviously, this design is not accessible to first time users and definately not forgiving. So maybe we should be?

Anyone who manufactures escalators could learn a lot from this footage. Maybe behaviour design could help?

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