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Push to start

(gas pump with lots of stickers) I'm at a self-serve gas station. I just walked over and handed the attendant a twenty and told him I wanted to fill it. I go back to the pump, put the nozzle in the tank and squeeze the control. Nothing happens. I look at the gas pump for a lever to flip. No lever. I look at the gas pump for instructions or a button or something. I don't see any button. OK, I systematically scan the gas pump, left to right, top to bottom. Nothing. I go back to the attendant. He says "push the button". I say "I don't see any button." He shows me.

(Push to start) It was right in front of me! Why didn't I see it? Part of the problem may have been that I was looking for a "real" button to start the pump; a 3-D button. Whereas the actual button was flat. But probably the bigger problem was that there were so many stickers and decals on the gas pump that finding the start button was like finding a needle in a haystack.

Design suggestion

Here are some things that would have made it easier to see the "push to start" button:
  • Making it larger
  • Using colors that contrasted with the background
  • Removing some of the nearby stickers and decals
  • Making it more centrally located on the gas pump
  • Using a real 3-D button

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