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Labels that look like pushbuttons

(picture of elevator controls) One problem with these elevator controls is that the labels on the bottom row look like pushbuttons. So when you want to open the elevator door, you accidently push the "DOOR OPEN" label instead of the pushbutton next to it. The top row of pushbuttons doesn't seem to have this problem.

Design suggestion

One solution to this problem would be to put the labels on the pushbuttons, rather than beside the pushbuttons. However, this solution would probably be more expensive.

Another approach would be to determine why the top row of pushbuttons doesn't have the bottom row's problem and apply that knowledge to the design of the bottom row. The pushbuttons and labels in the top row are divided visually into groups, so it is easier to see the pattern of labels and pushbuttons. Also, the labels are narrower than the pushbuttons in the top row. This makes the labels look less like pushbuttons. Thus, making the labels narrower in the bottom row would not only put the label closer to its corresponding pushbutton, but also help divide the pushbuttons and labels into groups.

Reader's comment

This problem of pressing the label instead of the pushbutton appears to be common. I got this note from a reader before I posted this example.
Things I'd like to see.....
Elevators that DON'T use "raised" button-like images BESIDE the real (FLAT!) buttons. I kept pushing the image instead of the button! - NP

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