Thursday, 6 October 2016

Window Shades Buttons

At work, we have window shades on the outside of the office building that we work in. Inside there are buttons (visible in the picture on the left) that we can use to regulate the lowering and the raising of the window shades.

As a software engineer there's a major mismatch regarding the buttons. A zoomed in version is available below:

The buttons are binary (on or off). There's two buttons, one for up and one for down. Purely functionally it means there are four different options for the buttons to be in:
up is off and down is on
the window shade will travel down until it covers the entire window
up is on and down is off
the window shade will move up, until the entire window is free
up is off and down is off
the window shade will not move
up is on and down is on
the window shade will not move
Clearly there are two combinations possible, that cause the same result. Namely, the window shade will not move.

So on some mornings, I need to turn "down" on to drop the shades and on some days I need to turn "up" off to drop the shades. And I frequently get it wrong.

This extra difficulty could have been eliminated with a three state button, that has the default state of "will not move" and "up" and "down" for special states.

I know it seems trivial, but it is the little things that get on some peoples nerves the most.

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