Don't push that button!
Our three-year-old son received this camera as a gift. The camera
was designed for children. (See Photo A.) Our son used the camera to take pictures,
but being curious,
couldn't resist pressing all the buttons on the camera, including the
button on the side of the camera that opens the film compartment .(See Photo B.)
He kept opening the camera
and ruining the film.
He ruined the film 3 or 4 times in several days. The film
was expensive. I tried to teach him, with no success, not to open
the camera until all the film was used. The camera needed a childproof film
Finally I "fixed" the camera so he couldn't open the film compartment. I put a screw
into the camera to keep the film compartment button from being pressed.
(See Photo C.)
My solution, although effective, was inconvenient since it
required the use
of a screwdriver to open the film compartment. A more convenient
might be having two buttons on the camera that have to be pressed
simultaneously to open the camera.
This may have kept our son from discovering how to open it.
Another alternative solution might be a lock mechanism
to prevent the camera
from being opened with the button on the side until all
the film is used. However, there should be a way to bypass
the lock mechanism and
open the camera.
Both alternative solutions would also prevent
the camera from being opened accidentally.
Of course, since neither alternative solution would be
intuitive for users,
brief directions/instructions about opening the film compartment
should be included on the camera.
This "Bad Design" example is unusual because the problem is
that it is too easy to open the film compartment.
Usually the problem with a device is that
it is too difficult to use!
Michael J. Darnell 1996-2010. All rights reserved.