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Can I Click That or What?!


See that big bright button for "87" octane gasoline with the obvious evidence of thousands of finger-presses?

It is not a button.

As it turns out (and as I loathingly rediscover every time I pump my gas), the real button is actually the smaller rectangle with "Regular" printed on it, just above that big button-y looking square.

I don’t imagine some mischievous engineer out there rubbing his hands together with a malicious grin.  It looks like some combination of poor communication between the various units responsible for making the pump, some unfortunate compromises, and an overall lack of design consideration.  Rarely, though, do you get such visceral evidence of a design mistake.













This is a button!

In addition to providing buttons that are unmistakably buttons, this interface does a great job of unifying the important information.  Check out how the gas pump in the top image disperses the priority information all over the panel and, as an artifact of over-engineering, is full of redundancy.  This interface connects the meaningful information tightly, visually distinguishes categories with strong verticals, and makes obvious what should be pressed.

Well-designed interfaces like this take some of the sting off fueling.

This interface would be even better if the buttons were bigger and the price per gallon were incorporated right in.


John Nelson / IDV Solutions / john.nelson@idvsolutions.com



2 responses

  1. Unknown

    diggback: http://digg.com/design/Can_I_Click_That_or_What

    November 6, 2007 at 2:57 pm

  2. Unknown

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