All posts filed under “Poka-yoke

Eight design patterns for errorproofing

Eight design patterns for errorproofing

Go straight to the patterns One view of influencing user behaviour – what I’ve called the ‘errorproofing lens’ – treats a user’s interaction with a system as a set of defined target behaviour routes which the designer wants the user to follow, with deviations from […]

Salt licked?

Salt licked?

UPDATE: See the detailed response below from Peter of Gateshead Council, which clarifies, corrects and expands upon some of the spin given by the Mail articles. The new shakers were supplied to the chip shop staff for use behind the counter: “Our main concern was […]

Hard to handle

Hard to handle

British Rail’s drop-the-window- then-stick-your-hand-outside- to-use-the-handle doors puzzled over by Don Norman in The Design of Everyday Things are still very much around, though often refurbished and repainted as with this delightful/vile pink First Great Western-liveried example. I’m assuming that this design was intended to introduce […]

Lights reminding you to turn things off

Lights reminding you to turn things off

Duncan Drennan, who writes the very thoughtful Art of Engineering blog, notes something extremely interesting: standby lights, if they’re annoying/visible enough, can actually motivate users to switch the device off properly: Our DVD player has (to me) the most irritating standby light that I have […]

Design with Intent presentation from Persuasive 2008

Design with Intent presentation from Persuasive 2008

Dan Lockton: Design With Intent (Persuasive 2008) view presentation (tags: environment affordances sustainability lockton) EDIT: I’ve now added the audio! Thanks everyone for the suggestions on how best to do it; the audio is hosted on this site rather than the Internet Archive as the […]

Un-hiding an affordance

Un-hiding an affordance

These (pretty shallow) steps in Dawlish, Devon, have been labelled as such, presumably because without this, some visitors wouldn’t notice, and would run, cycle or wheelchair down them and hurt themselves or others. Painting a white line along the edge is a common way of […]

Getting someone to do things in a particular order (Part 3)

Getting someone to do things in a particular order (Part 3)

Continued from part 2 This series is looking at what design techniques/mechanisms are applicable to guiding a user to follow a process or path, performing actions in a specified sequence. The techniques fall roughly into three ‘approaches’. In this post, I’m going to examine the […]

Home-made instant poka-yokes

Home-made instant poka-yokes

Update: Also known as Useful Landmines in the 43 Folders world – thanks Pantufla! Mistake-proofing – poka-yoke – can be as simple as encouraging/forcing yourself to do things in a sequence, to avoid forgetting or avoiding intermediate steps. If you’re the sort of person who […]

Spear’s Spellmaster: Poka-yoke in the classroom

Spear’s Spellmaster: Poka-yoke in the classroom

Back in September we looked at Mentor Teaching Machines, a clever type of non-linear textbook from the early 1970s which guides/constrains the user’s progression, in the process diagnosing some common types of misunderstanding and ‘remedying’ them. The comments were enlightening, too: there’s a lot more […]

Full, tilt

Full, tilt

Jan Hoekstra’s Balancing Bowls for Royal VKB (via Boing Boing) are an interesting ‘portion control/guidance’ solution – as Cory Doctorow puts it: The tilt is tiny, all of 3 degrees, and the net effect is very satisfying — you gradually add snacks to the “light” […]

How this research will be moving forward

How this research will be moving forward

UPDATE: This 2-page PDF (produced summer 2008) introduces the research I’ve taken the plunge, and will be starting a PhD in September at Brunel University, Uxbridge, in the School of Engineering & Design. The chosen subject incorporates both a formal investigation and review of certain […]

Tidying up the /cig-bin

Tidying up the /cig-bin

Two types of cigarette receptacle with sloping tops to prevent cigarettes (and other litter) being put on top. Images from the New Pig catalogue pigalog. These smokers’ bins from New Pig employ a very simple architecture of control – simply, sloping tops which prevent litter […]

Education, forcing functions and understanding

Education, forcing functions and understanding

Mr Person at Text Savvy looks at an example of ‘Guided Practice’ in a maths textbook – the ‘guidance’ actually requiring attention from the teacher before the students can move on to working independently – and asks whether some type of architecture of control (a […]

Shaping behaviour: Part 1

Shaping behaviour: Part 1

A couple of months ago I posted about the ‘shaping behaviour’ research of RED, part of the UK Design Council. At the time I noted in passing a classification of design approaches for shaping behaviour, mentioned by RED’s Chris Vanstone: “stick*, carrot or speedometer.” It’s […]

Preventing baggage trolleys going down the escalator

Preventing baggage trolleys going down the escalator

These ‘pinch point’ barriers at London’s Heathrow Airport prevent the baggage trolleys from the Bus Station being taken down the escalators which lead to Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Mistake-proofing (for safety reasons: a trolley down the escalator would be dangerous) but also unnecessary if […]