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Better “open/close” elevator icons

Boring and minor, yes, but it would make our world a little better.
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With most all elevators, the “open door” button fails at times to deliver the right message. It looks kind of like this: <> And the “close door” button looks like this: >< Sometimes when I'm faced with such buttons and I want to open the closing door to let someone else on, I have to pause, unsure which button does which, and then it’s too late. What’s worse, by pressing the wrong button, I seem to be going out of my way to slam the door on a hapless stranger. So I propose better icons. Perhaps images of traditional hinged doors, one propped open and the other closed shut.
Arby, Jan 02 2004

Push Pull Pictogram http://www.halfbake..._2fPull_20Pictogram
sorta like this? [FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004]

Stop feeling guilty about shutting people out... http://www.careerjo...030117-cubicle.html
... 'cause you can't. Its a fake button. [nilstycho, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       ...or even just have the words "Open" and "Close" on the buttons.
hippo, Jan 02 2004
  

       The reason most of us pause when trying to open the door for a latecomer is that the buttons are in different places in every elevator. If you really want to do the world a favor, develop a full standard elevator interface, not just button icons.
DrCurry, Jan 02 2004
  

       I agree, those "<>" and "><" symbols are completely unintuitive. I don't know how they caught on. "><" looks much more open than closed.
phundug, Jan 02 2004
  

       a plus for the idea and [hippo]'s annotation. While we're at it, just get rid of all symbols on the remotes and replace with words. It's unlikely that the words would ever by misunderstood.
jonthegeologist, Jan 02 2004
  

       Even something as simple as:   

       ____||_____ for closed, and   

       |_________| for open would be better.
phundug, Jan 02 2004
  

       With severed bloody arms laying outside the shut door.
Letsbuildafort, Jan 02 2004
  

       Hippo you're a genius
whatastrangeperson, Jan 02 2004
  

       I often see elevators with "open doors" and "close doors" written on the buttons.
waugsqueke, Jan 02 2004
  

       See my link above.   

       If you want to close the doors, don't sweat it. You can't.   

       If you want to keep the doors open, don't waste milliseconds figuring out which is which: punch both at once.
nilstycho, Jan 02 2004
  

       DrC: ISO standard elevator?   

       "This elevator is ISO 314159265 compliant. Is yours?"   

       Perhaps, if the buttons were color coded, it might be easier. Red - Close; Green - Open
</with apologies to colorblind folks>
Baker^-1, Jan 02 2004
  

       The button should be like miniature elevator doors, two slides, a knob on each, over a recess – a three dimensional icon. They would mimic the state of the real doors and could be pushed open, held open or pushed shut with one hand.
FarmerJohn, Jan 03 2004
  

       The Open Door button should have a flashing back light when the door enters the the close squence, and the Close Door button should take coins: "Here's a quarter, now step on it!"
1st2know, Jan 04 2004
  

       i think we should all take the stairs and get some excercise becuase we all spend far to much time in front of our PCs anyway...
Space-Pope, Jan 04 2004
  

       [Rods]'s idea is very interesting! However, the "change doors" symbol should be similar to the "emergency stop" symbol, for maximum effectiveness.
phundug, Jan 05 2004
  

       The problem with [Rods] idea is that you generally want to press the "Open" button when the doors are about half-closed, which is precisely when the meaning of the button switches from "Close" to "Open" and might be indeterminable.
hippo, Jan 05 2004
  

       Nuh-huh! If the doors are clos*ing* then the button would mean open them (and retain that meaning for a few seconds).   

       OTOH, why not use the "minimize" and "maximize" symbols like in the title bar of a Windows window?
phundug, Jan 05 2004
  

       I don't see everyone's problem. Arrows generally indicate direction of motion. Two arrows coming together, closing. Two arrows pointing away, opening. Would people prefer tails on arrows?
--> <--
<-- -->
Worldgineer, Jan 05 2004
  

       I agree, arrows indicate direction of motion. But "<>" and "><" don't look like arrows to me; they look like pictures; pictures of the opposite of what they are supposed to represent.
phundug, Jan 05 2004
  

       do we really need a close button? just engineer the thing such that close times are reasonable. i use the world's most popular electric vehicle daily, and i've yet to hit the close button once on my fujitec model.   

       as for open.. it could be represented by an empty circle (like an open cave), and if you must have a close button for some really badly designed model, use a filled-in circle.   

       afterthought: i've yet to see an elevator the senses approaching/departing people. perhaps adding this feature (like an automatic door at the mall), along with some fuzzy logic and learning ability, would drastically reduce button pushing. with today's cheap computing power, this could surely be done, and if done optically, there would be even more uses for the data stream generated.
TIB, Mar 29 2008
  

       You don't need two buttons.   

       You only need one button: reverse the direction of the doors.   

       If they're closed or closing, hit it to open.   

       If they're open or opening, hit it to close.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 29 2008
  

       But what picture would that be?
Worldgineer, Mar 29 2008
  

       Just a big exclamation mark on a door.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 30 2008
  
      
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