Thursday, April 2, 2015

Unintended Consequences of Usability Improvements

Matt Henderson:

I’m never quite sure myself whether I actually turned the lights off or not. And so, inevitably, I end up delaying my departure from the vehicle for the 30 seconds or so it takes to confirm that the lights are actually off. (And you can imagine that bystanders find that—a guy staring at his car, with its lights on—equally odd.)


The Toyota has a key-less entry system such that if I’m simply in proximity of the car, and in possession of the key, the doors will automatically unlock if I attempt to open them. While nice, it makes confirming that the doors are locked a bit difficult.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

[…] Matt Henderson (via Michael Tsai): […]

On my car (Renault), it's also an auto-lock/unlock mechanism but with a few differences that make it easier to know/check that the car is locked:

- when the car gets locked, the headlights and tail lights blink twice.
- there's a locking sound (which is not the car horn) that you can clearly hear from outside the vehicle.

- the side mirrors also retracts (but this was part of what they call the Urban options).

As you do not need to mechanically open the door to unlock it, if you need to check it was locked, you just need to slip your hand between the door and the handle of the door to unlock it. And then leave again.

Also if you really want to be sure it's locked, you can lock it using the card (there's no key on this car). But in this case, the auto-lock mechanism will be disabled until the end of the next engine start/stop cycle.

Leave a Comment