There's a new sculpture in the park. By Conrad Shawcross (ex UAL) it consists of three structures one of which is shown above. Look how climbable that looks! Hard to resist climbing on that. Especially if you're 6. Or 39.
Approaching the new sculpture I kept looking for the Do Not Climb A4 notices stuck to it, but there were none. You are allowed to climb on the climbable looking thing. This is a sculpture that is fully compliant with Davies's 3rd law. Well done park people.
We talk about this a lot on this blog, but for listeners who are unfamiliar, Davies's 3rd law states:
"if you make something that looks incredibly climbable, you shouldn't be allowed to say people can't climb it"
There's a much broader point here. In interaction design this means; make a thing look like it does what it actually does.
It is a crime to make it look like it you can do something and then say you can't do that thing. Usability beats training. I don't just mean websites. Applies to door handles as well.
And here's one I saw this morning when trying to log on to an energy supplier.
You enter you username password and then click the big green button. Which takes you to a registration page and asks for your detail again. Endless loop.
Took me three or four goes to realise you need to click the small orange button that's slightly cut off.
Anyway, back to sculpture news. Here are some examples that do not obey the law, with a blog post.
And here's one that does, with a blog post.
The Conrad Shawcross sculpture is in Dulwich Park and well worth a visit. More info here.