Thursday, December 07, 2006

Buttons

It is very annoying when the petrol gauge warning light, or other similarly important detail on the dashboard, is right behind your thumbs in your preferred driving position.

At South Bristol crematorium the button to descend the catafalque is out of your eyesight once you are standing at the lectern. I felt for the button as I read the committal and found two. I had to manouevre myself back until I could see the first three letters on the label c...a... t... so I pressed it and all was well. Away went the coffin. The other button turns the lights off. Commit the body for cremation and plunge the service leader into darkness; only slightly less bad than running out of petrol on the motorway eh?

3 comments:

Andy Sewell said...

Hi Steve - great. I've been to South Bristol too - must be a bit taller than you!

Just wanted to show I have read your blog - I briefly knew what blog meant once!.

Keep it up

Andy

Anonymous said...

Ah-ha just the problem a former ergonomist like myself loves.

Many moons ago before I worked on planes I looked after ergonomics / human factors for the design department at Rover and one thing we looked at was tactile feel of buttons. We looked at placing small heating elements in the temperature control for the heater, by increasing the heat in the switch we indicated to the driver the car was going to get hotter too and other such exciting things - push down on a button and the window went up, pull up on the same button and up the glass went.

Great, so what's this got to do with your predicament?

What I would suggest is placing a small object, a square of dymo tape, a shirt button or something on one of the switches to help differentiate the functions; think of it as 'braille' for the seeing. In fact dymo tape is great, you coud label one button 'catafalque' and place the tape below the button and another marked 'lights' above its corresponding button; the logic being lights come fom upon high and fire comes below.... just a thought. I'll go and be a geek elsewhere now.

Graham

St said...

Andy. Blog. Short for weblog. An online journal. Like a captain's log only less Enterprising.

Graham. When I get to the pearly gates will you be the one advising St Peter on redesigning an altogether more ergonomic entry to the after-life?