Hurtttttttttt Meeeeeeeee…..


The elevator in the hotel this morning, was scientifically designed by a cognitive psychologist gone horribly wrong, to torture people who have hangovers.

I actually wasn’t very hung over, but that thing happened where sometimes your eyes align slightly crossed or parallel and you get a mis-cued depth perception so it looks like the surface is split into more levels than it actually is. With this surface, it was almost physically painful:

The walls are vibrating at me.....

The walls are vibrating at me…..

I jiggled the camera a bit to give the full effect. No, I confess: the shaking was from the hangover.

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Fatboy Slim plays with characteristic audio hallucinations from various drugs. Collect them all!

Comments

  1. says

    Yep, that looks like something to give you a headache.
    I’m sometimes wondering if some of the people giving presentations may need glasses. We all have our individual levels at which we can or cannot read something, see it as clear or a bit smudged. I expect that some people just don’t realise that the projector needs adjustment because they are used to “things being smudged at that size”, but when my brain registers a disconnect between “should see clear” and “don’t see clear” it goes into headache mode.

  2. says

    Giliell@#1:
    when my brain registers a disconnect between “should see clear” and “don’t see clear” it goes into headache mode.

    I don’t get headachy – I get nauseous. I’ve never thrown up before, though.

    One time I was thinking you could make art-works that were designed to be viewed when drunk, since there are various specific visual effects for different mind altering substances. Play on the visuals the same way that Fatboy Slim’s “Funk Soul Brother” plays on the audibles. But who’d want an art gallery where people kept falling down and throwing up?

  3. jrkrideau says

    Actually that looks like a really bad designer who never had a cognitive psychology course. Well unless the psychologist was getting well-paid by the CIA.

    The cognitive psychologist, Donald Norman, has written extensively on this phenomenon (The Design of Everyday Things for example) and IIRC had a website with many impressive examples of bad design.

    The German Bank with airlock or double doors that were so confusing that customers got trapped between the two sets of doors and had to be rescued by bank staff or the slide projector with only one button. One pressed the bottom lightly to turn it on or off, or heavily to have the slide tray ejected. Many presenters spent most of their time picking up slides from the floor. Then there was the men’s washroom with a utility sink that many men mistook for a urinal.

    From my personal experience the software program tracking staff time where you first signed out the new employee before logging them in. Or the office telephone with 109 features. Most of us could hardly transfer a call.

    Unfortunately I cannot find the site but here is another one with some good examples of bad design. https://www.sitebuilderreport.com/blog/examples-of-bad-design-in-the-real-world

  4. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    That can happen also on corridors and pavements that are covered with a repeating pattern. It’s worse when wearing variofocal glasses: the apparent size of the tiles depends on which part of the lens you are seeing through. It isn’t fun when you miss the step where a staircase begins. (BTW, all architects should be forced to take a test walk around a house they have designed, wearing distorting glasses that simulate bad eyesight.)

    In my home town we have a section of pedestrian street that is covered with a Penrose tiling. When walking it, your idea of what seems horizontal may be wrong. It should be called R’lyeh Street.

  5. blf says

    One of my pet peeves about not thinking through the design is software GUIs, which have a tendency to use a small font by default, using the current font for the “use a bigger font” setting / control. Lets see now, that’s it in the current (default) font, which is too small for me to read, so how am I supposed to read it, even find it, to fix the problem I cannot read it?

  6. says

    jrkrideau@#3:
    One night, during an IPO road show, I staggered exhaustedly into the Witter in Zurich – a fancy ass hotel, which spent way too much on design: walked right into a plate glass door, because they had put an automatic plate glass door where my brain said that none could be* – it was embedded into an arched stone entryway and I had too much experience that you don’t put doors in those because the shape is impractical. Embarrassed (didn’t break the glass) I checked in, went upstairs, had to ask for help using the elevator because I couldn’t find buttons. It turned out that the elevator just waited until you settled down and then went to your floor. OK. So I got into my room (using the sensor key) and went to take a shower to wash off the travel funk. The shower control was a stainless steel stick, which I poked at a bit and was immediately rewarded with a freezing shower, then scalding heat – it was hyper-sensitive and I didn’t realize that you needed to twirl the stick instead of just rotating it (i.e.: 4 axis control not 3!) It was really funny. The next morning I told the people at the front desk that I almost (but not quite) couldn’t figure out how to find my way back downstairs. It turns out that if you are tired enough your short-term memory fades before you can bookmark your return path for the next morning.

    Then there was the time that I was travelling in Japan with a friend and suddenly there’s shrieking from the bathroom. We were in a high end hotel (the Imperial in Tokyo) and she had put her hand down on the button panel that caused the hot water jet arm to deploy and squirt a little puff of warm water intended to facilitate her cleaning her girl bits but instead it fired right up her exhaust system.

    Hotels should be simple, darn it. I go to museums to appreciate art, I don’t go to sleep and want to wake up in an industrial design showroom.

    Then there was the men’s washroom with a utility sink that many men mistook for a urinal.

    There’s a joke regarding the foreign guest who comes downstairs and says (in a thick accent) “I love most of your american innovations but I think I’m going to stick with the toilet paper; the brush is way too harsh.”

    (* As a kid one summer project was hanging a door in a 14th century nunnery in the south of France. It was a huge arch of sandstone with a wall about 1 foot thick and iron hinges sunk/cemented/leaded deep into the stone. So my brain learned that stone arches were either empty, or had huge wooden hinged doors. The door at the Witter had been sliced vertically into the stone wall, recessed on a rail. It simply never occurred to my brain, familiar as it was with medieval arched doors, that anyone could/would do that. Ow.)

  7. Richard Simons says

    I get the same effect from escalators that have parallel steel treads along the edge. I sometimes find it very hard to determine where the edge is because my brain thinks it is seeing one metal strip when it is actually two adjacent strips seen by different eyes.

  8. says

    Richard Simons@#7:
    I get the same effect from escalators that have parallel steel treads along the edge.

    Yesss!!! And then it looks like some of the ridges are floating up off the floor!!!

    The first time it ever happened to me, I was lying on my back on a couch that had a pegboard headboard behind it. I opened my eyes and was amazed to see that some of the holes were floating off the surface!!! I remember I sat there for about 10 minutes just marvelling at it, trying to figure out what my brain was doing. Once you understand it, you can recreate the effect very easily.

  9. says

    blf@#5:
    One of my pet peeves about not thinking through the design is software GUIs, which have a tendency to use a small font by default, using the current font for the “use a bigger font” setting / control.

    That’s a good one. I’ve been so proud of the programmers at Microsoft who finally (what’s it been, 20 years?) lifted the technique where when you change your display settings it does a countdown: “accept current settings? reverting in 5, 4, 3…”

    Of course when I have problems with my internets and call Verizon their support system still insists I’d get faster service if I went to verizon.com’s website… Which I would do, but only if I could beat it with a tire iron.

  10. says

    Lassi Hippeläinen@#4:
    In my home town we have a section of pedestrian street that is covered with a Penrose tiling. When walking it, your idea of what seems horizontal may be wrong. It should be called R’lyeh Street.

    Oh, wow! I know people who’d be completely incapacitated by that. I forget what it’s called but one of my friends has an inner ear balance disorder that occasionally manifests itself in feedback loops that mean she has to sit down very fast (more of a controlled fall) anything that disorients her even slightly can cascade. I wonder what she’d think of R’lyeh Street.

  11. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    Intransitive #11
    How do you build an elevator like that?
    I like the scooter.

  12. says

    Intransitive@#11:
    Who builds an elevator like that?

    Someone who lives in an old European building that was constructed when they had dumbwaiters but not elevators?

    I’m not claustrophobic but I’d call that a “moving coffin” not an “elevator”! You ever see the chain-skips that they have in some parking garages and mines? It’s just a little more bare-bones than that.

  13. says

    I’m not claustrophobic but I’d call that a “moving coffin” not an “elevator”!

    I’m pretty sure that I’d have to leave either my boobs or my ass outside…
    Probably somebody really wanted an elevator regardless of whether one could be fitted into the building or not…

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