Hell in a Handbasket: Airplane Flight Attendant Button Design Breakthrough

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Jun 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.core77.com/blog/object_c...ttendant_button_design_breakthrough_19679.asp

    For e-mail interface designers, putting the "Reply" button right next to the "Reply All" button seems like a good idea, until you accidentally send something to 20 people that you only meant for one person to read. And airplane interior designers have typically placed the "Flight Attendant" button next to the overhead light button, clearly differentiating each with an icon of either a human being or a light bulb, and further differentiating it with distinct colors, and yet people will still summon Darlene when they meant to light up their copy of Newsweek.
    Is this a failure of design, or a failure of the end user? Boeing is calling it the former, and trumpeting their new flight attendant button simply because it's placed farther away from the light button. They cite this ridiculous piece of design research which I really hope isn't true:

    ...Extensive research [has] shown...that many passengers avoid turning on the reading light for fear of accidentally calling the flight attendant, Boeing Director of Differentiation Blake Emery told Reuters from Seattle.​
    Let me get this straight—"many passengers" look at the two buttons, cannot work out which is which, and sit in darkness because they are too afraid to grapple with this problem? Are the flight attendants on these flights shaped like lightbulbs while the lightbulbs are made of glass blown into the shape of bathroom icons?

    [​IMG]

    Maybe the Russians have it right, with this outdated and somewhat sexist flight attendant button:

    [​IMG]

    In any case, here's a button I'd really like to see. You'd press it to settle disputes over just whose armrest that is between you and the sprawling person next to you:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    LOL. Probably the person who was sitting next to me yesterday falls into that category. While taxying to the runway, she seemed to nap. Then, as we were still waiting for take-off clearance, she asks me if I could help her unfold the foot rest (that's on a UA 777 with those flight-attendant rest chairs that have foot rests). I told her "Sure, I'd be happy to help you with that once we're in the air". She looks at me (me sitting in the window seat, with the shades wide open and the airport buildings clearly visible) and says "Oh, I didn't realize we weren't in the air yet".
     
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  3. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    From the article:
    OT but I once sent a wedding planning proposal to a bride and her mother. Bride accidentally hit "reply all" and said, "do you believe how expensive she is, let's keep looking!" For a minute I felt like a hooker.
     
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  4. wiredboy
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    wiredboy Silver Member

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    I've always thought the buttons like in the top photo were incredibly bad design.

    An example of bad design really close to home is the buttons for the elevators in my apartment lobby. There's the usual up and down button. Just to the right of the up button is the keyhole for controlling the elevator manually. And it's marked 'Left Car". To the right of the down button is the keyhole marked 'Right Car'. The implication is that you press the top button to call the left car, and the lower button for the right car. So many of my neighbors don't believe me when I explain it to them.
     
  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    :) Did you get the assignment?
     
  6. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    No - when I realized the message wasn't intended for my eyes, I sent a quick note back asking if they had any questions...never heard a peep.
     
  7. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    You have a very tough business I think.

    May I ask about how many events a year you arrange?
     
  8. Clocktower
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    Clocktower Silver Member

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    I think part of this is a reach issue.. some people are not tall enough to push the buttons from a fully seated position (in some aircraft). I've seen people lurch up and hit the wrong button by accident while attempting to reach.

    Of course you could just do a Rodney Dangerfield and put up your hand and yell "Waitress!" :D
     

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