The buttons on this Royal Albert Hall lift have more buttons on top of them

While in the Royal Albert Hall in London yesterday I spotted an unusual arrangement of button-pressing options on the elevator control panel, along with an accompanying explanatory note.

Click on either image to enlarge it.

A picture of a control panel in an elevator showing the numbers used to control the lift. On top of those numbers is an extra panel bolted on with another set of buttons - confusing!

An elevator at the Royal Albert Hall with a numbered panel of buttons bolted on top of the lift’s own control panel buttons

Despite the shadowy photograph it should be possible to see a column of numbers on the right with four at the top, counting down to G (ground) and B (basement). Slightly to the left of this is a separate number-entry keypad which has been slotted onto the main control panel – this extra set of numbers lets users keep the doors open (see instructions below) whereas the numbers and letters on the right determine to which floor the lift is being sent.

A photo of lift operating instructions that accompany the photo of the lift's control panel above

Lift operating instructions – possibly the most unexpected workaround instructions for opening and closing lift doors

The photos aren’t very high quality I’m afraid, a consequence of a short lift journey and an old phone, but colleagues on CHI+MED collect examples of unusual number entry systems so I’m happy to share these.

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This entry was posted in interaction design, non CHI+MED and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The buttons on this Royal Albert Hall lift have more buttons on top of them

  1. domfurniss says:

    People don’t normally think about interaction design when done well, this brings it to forefront! Excellent job!!

  2. jobrodie says:

    When I first went to press whatever button might make the lift go to the fourth floor I assumed that the bolt-on buttons on the top were there because perhaps the older buttons underneath didn’t work. So I very nearly used those instead but then managed to work out what was going on.

    Assuming that the bonus panel exists only to provide a means of keeping the doors open (for which you type 2345) I can’t help thinking a separate button might have done the trick 😉 Maybe there are other hidden options not included on the instructions…

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