As chance would have it, the last two years or so I have been eating lunch with the Shell team developers. Today as we sat at the end of the Shell Team Lunch Table, we had unexpected entertainment. Like most corporations, Microsoft employees have to swipe their badge to gain entrance to a building. Our table is close to the back door of the Cafe, through which a large volume of traffic tends to pass. For reasons unknown, this particular door was unlocking and then locking extra quickly today. Unfortunately for those wishing to enter, the swiper and the door handle are extra far apart at this door, making it very difficult to swipe and then manage to open the door before it locked again. In fact, it was almost perfectly timed to lock just as your hand hit the handle. There were some very amusing reactions from people. It was reminiscent of Candid Camera. We observed the following:
Individuals wishing to enter:
Low: 2 swipes High: 6 swipes Average: 3 swipes.
Groups of two or more:
Low: 2 swipes High: 4 swipes Average: 2 swipes.
Number of people who called security immediately after getting inside to complain: 1.
Number of people who gave up and went to find another door: 1.
I admit it took me four swipes to get in by myself; I had not had my coffee yet. This is a good change though. We used to enjoy the looks of confused people trying to just locate the swiper (nobody expects it to be so far away). We all concurred this was bad UI and as we sorted our refuse into recyclable and non-recyclable categories, Raymond decided we had to blog it.