As I reached the theater door, I had a bag of buttery popcorn in one hand and a drink in the other. I leaned and put my body weight against the door, but it didn’t move; I felt like a bird flying into a window. People behind me waited and stared as I struggled to hold my drink and my popcorn with one hand and pull the door with the other. I felt like an idiot and blamed myself for not knowing how to open the door.
Theater doors are designed this way due to a 1942 law that was enacted after a fire at a nightclub called Cocoanut Grove killed nearly 500 people. Many victims were trapped because they were unable to exit the club. A design problem caused the terrible loss. The solution was to ban inward-swinging exit doors, which has caused inconvenience for many customers at movie theaters. I admit, this is a minuscule problem when people’s lives are at stake. However, you can’t help but wonder, couldn’t they just design a better solution such as doors that swing both ways?
We often blame ourselves when we fail to use a product, but in reality, it’s rarely our fault. Poor design is at the core of all usability issues. Products that are designed without users at the heart of the process often fail to work seamlessly and cause confusion and unpleasant experiences.
At Dwaiter, we pride ourselves on helping our clients to empower their customers and avoid making them feel stupid. We believe users’ experience with a website or mobile app should be effortless and enjoyable. To achieve this, we perform rigorous usability testing.
When we helped the University of Rochester create a social network for enrollment applicants, we conducted tests to observe how prospective students perceived and used the interface within the prototype we designed. This process helped us gather valuable insights that we used to improve the design.
We learned users weren’t quite sure how to get started and what they were supposed to do once they logged in. In response, we modified certain UI components and others to help guide and clarify. The result was a more cohesive and rewarding experience for users.
If you like to improve the experience for your customers, get in touch for a consultation.