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The British School of User Interface

"Are you thinking of hiring a British contractor or firm to design the UI of you product? Before you do that, take a trip to the old country and get some first-hand reconnaisance. "
http://www.relisoft.com/Science/UI/index.htm

It's funny because its true.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, May 15, 2003

ROTFL! So true.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, May 15, 2003

#1 is for a sort of a sensible reason.

Some commuter trains get so packed, that people are scrunched up against every surface.

They removed inside handles, when people lent on door handles and started falling out of high speed trains.

S Tanna
Thursday, May 15, 2003

You have a point.  Its hard to believe that these trains are so old they actually predate cheap technology that could lock the doors while the train was in motion.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, May 15, 2003

No, apparently there _is_ technology that locks the train doors - on the sign, it says to wait for the "door unlocked" signal.

Very funny site, btw. :)

Martha
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I think the door locking was added afterwards.  When the trains were originally constructed you could open the doors while the train was in motion.

I know this for a fact because I remember doing so when I was a foolish child.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, May 15, 2003

My God, I actually have first hand experience of all of these classic designs!

John Topley
Thursday, May 15, 2003

So they took off the handles first, then installed the automatic locking feature, and have yet to return the handles?  I don't think I've ever been on a train where the doors were not fully automated.

Brian
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Brian, you need to visit South East England.

You can still open the doors while the train is in motion. That's why they have one of those dudes with the white 'lollipop' on the platform to signal to the driver when all the doors are closed, and the train can move.

I never cease to be amazed every time I get on one of those Connex trains to Gatwick. Give me the express anyday and twice on Sunday.

tapiwa
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Brian,

You can also visit the United States. On the Amtrak long-haul trains I have been on, you can open the doors or even jump off the train from in between cars if you are so inclined, just like in the movies. I think this way is best. Why limit the user's possibilities? Also the US is one of the few places left where you can take a train ride that lasts for weeks and weeks, if it even manages to get to your destination at all.

X. J. Scott
Thursday, May 15, 2003

"Also the US is one of the few places left where you can take a train ride that lasts for weeks and weeks, if it even manages to get to your destination at all. "

No, they do that in England too :-)

S Tanna
Thursday, May 15, 2003

In India there is one train that has NEVER been on time since Independence (and in all fairness possibly never before).

It's best time was only three hours late, and its worse was seven days late. The average delay was 46 hours.

However they still stick with the original timetable.

Remind you of any software projects you've ever worked on?

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 15, 2003

I think this just goes to show how pampered users (americans?), have become.  After all, once having discovered how a user interface works; ambiguous menu items, checkboxes that need hitting twice to work (otherwise people just ignore them you know), mysteriously requiring entry in a box but not caring what the entry is, interesting choices of a combination of colours, flashing red messages (cos once the user ignored the situation and the server crashed so the manager said we had to make it obvious); after all that the sheer feeling of accomplishment and safeguarding one's job because no one else knows how it works more than satisfies a whole pyramid of happiness targets.

Did the guy not know how to use the multi-functioned toothmug to rinse his hair?  How many Fridays did he spend in the hotel to need the bathroom anyway.

Sheesh.

Simon Lucy
Friday, May 16, 2003

Twice on Sunday, Tapiwa? You'll be lucky if the trains run that often...

I'm a bit confused about the hair rinsing thing. Either he was in the bath (in which case he could have simply done the hair washing & rinsing thing then) or he wasn't. If he wasn't, why didn't he just use the hand basin? Would it have helped if it had had a sign saying "Hand (and head) basin"?

The shower cord thing is probably because mixing electricity and water is generally considered A Bad Idea. Particularly if your hand is the one dripping water into a switch or socket. So naturally there is no alarm cord in case you are "dying alone in the bathroom".


Friday, May 16, 2003

Good to know that natural selection is alive in the UK.  You guys don't need to mess around with usability. 

Just visit parts of the US and see all the billboards advertising personal injury lawyers.

Tj
Friday, May 16, 2003

In the UK it is the Call XYZ lawyers for your risk free assessment if you have been injured in the last three years.

tapiwa
Saturday, May 17, 2003

Yes indeed, unlike in the US, a BRAIN is not usually considered an optional extra.  One appreciates that our american visitors might find this an unusually harsh environment, becoming trapped on trains, and what not but referring to them as mutants is a tad unfair especially as I can't think of any AMERICAN innovations which might fall into this particular bracket... er... except this qwerty keyboard, or this Microsoft product or...

Zeb
Wednesday, July 23, 2003

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