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How fast am I going?

(picture of honda speedometer) For a long time I caught myself mistaking the tachometer for the speedometer. One might think that I could break this habit pretty easily. Why was this such a difficult habit to break? At first I thought that the problem was that in one of our cars, the speedometer was on the right (above) and on the other car, it was on the left (below). But as several readers pointed out, the speedometer and tachometer on the car below have the same numeric scale. So if a gauge shows 30, does it indicate 30 miles per hour, or 3000 revolutions per minute? The gauge above doesn't have that problem.

(picture of jetta speedometer)

Design suggestion

When you have several similar displays close together and lined up, people will confuse them with each other. This is especially true when displays with numeric scales have the same increments. These displays should be made more distinctive by making the numberic scale increments different.

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