To Heat or Not to Heat?

  1. Design Heuristic: Visibility of system status

The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.

  1. This loading bar is a great example that epitomizes high quality visibility of system status. With this bar I can immediately see how long it takes to accomplish my goal at hand, which is to transfer my files to my USB drive. I have a visual aid that gives me a rough sense of approximation for the task progress and also an estimated time of completion.


  1. This heater I have in my room is an example of poor visibility of system status and hence a violation of the design heuristic. When the heater is plugged in, it automatically has a red light signaled on. When I actually turn up the heat the red light is on still, no change. When I turn the heat down low to the point there is no heat coming out, the red light is still on. When I leave the heater in the far side of the room, I have no idea if the heat is actually on or not, or whether I have to wait for it to start up.                                              heater
  2. The new updated heater will have a simple green light that is brightly lit up when plugged in. The red light will then be used to indicate whether there is actually heat coming out. Hence this simple addition of a green light allows us to discern whether the heater is plugged in AND whether it is currently heating the room.                                                                updatedheater



About the author: Andy

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