Japanese Elevators & Canon Cameras: For the Good, the Bad, & the Clumsy
User Control & Freedom – Users often choose system functions by mistake and need a clearly marked “emergency exit” that allows them to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue.
When I was in Japan last summer, I saw so many kooky and crazy inventions – from singing toilets to robot waitresses – but perhaps the most brilliant invention of them all was this simple, intuitive elevator feature. In every Japanese elevator, a person has the ability to “cancel” a floor they’ve previously selected by pushing the button twice. I’m sure most everyone can relate to the annoying feeling of accidentally pushing the wrong button and then being trapped in an elevator on our way to a floor we had no interest in going to. As someone who is clumsy and/or often reckless when pushing buttons, I do. A lot. I loved that this simple feature gave me the option of “exiting” my unwanted state – saving me time and energy.
I am the proud owner of a beautiful Canon T5i DSLR – it’s my travel companion and the lens I see the world through. The only qualm I have with it is its tricky user interface. If – for example – I want to view information about a given photograph I’ve taken and then I change my mind, there is no intuitive way for me to return to where I came from (with a back arrow or back button indicating a return to the previous state, for example). I would have to press any of the other physical buttons on the camera’s base in order to go to where I want to be. In effect, with this camera, there is no way to move backwards to a previous state, only forwards to a new state.
I included a simple back-arrow-button on the top-left hand corner of the touch screen interface. This symbol serves as a near-universal representation of a “return to previous state” – making it easier for first-time users and experts alike to transfer the skills they’ve learned from other systems and to navigate this camera with familiarity and ease.