Bath and kitchen faucet design ought to be simple, but can violatemany design principles, including:Visible affordances and signifiers�Discoverability�Immediacy of feedback�four: Knowing What to Do: Constraints, Discoverability, and Feedback 155Finally, many violate the principle of desperation:If all else fails, standardize.�Standardization is indeed the fundamental principle of desperation:when no other solution appears possible, simply design everythingthe same way, so people only have to learn once. If allmakers of faucets could agree on a standard set of motions to controlamount and temperature (how about up and down to controlamountup meaning increaseand left and right to control temperature,��left meaning hot?), then we could all learn the standardsonce, and forever afterward use the knowledge for every new faucetwe encountered.If you cant put the knowledge on the device (that is, knowledge�in the world), then develop a cultural constraint: standardize whathas to be kept in the head. And remember the lesson from faucetrotation on page 153: The standards should reflect the psychologicalconceptual models, not the physical mechanics.Standards simplify life for everyone. At the same time, theytend to hinder future development. And, as discussed in Chapter6, there are often difficult political struggles in finding commonagreement. Nonetheless, when all else fails, standards are the wayto proceed.Using Sound as SignifiersSometimes everything that is needed cannot be made visible. Entersound: sound can provide information available in no other way.Sound can tell us that things are working properly or that theyneed maintenance or repair. It can even save us from accidents.Consider the information provided by:The click when the bolt on a door slides home�The tinny sound when a door doesnt shut right��The roaring sound when a car muffler gets a hole�The rattle when things arent secured��The whistle of a teakettle when the water boils�156 The Design of Everyday ThingsThe click when the toast pops up�The increase in pitch when a vacuum cleaner gets clogged�The indescribable change in sound when a complex piece of machinery�starts to have problemsMany devices simply beep and burp. These are not naturalisticsounds; they do not convey hidden information. Whenused properly, a beep can assure you that youve pressed a�button, but the sound is as annoying as informative. Soundsshould be generated so as to give knowledge about the source.They should convey something about the actions that are takingplace, actions that matter to the user but that would otherwisenot be visible. The buzzes, clicks, and hums that you hearwhile a telephone call is being completed are one good example:take out those noises and you are less certain that the connectionis being made.
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