User Experience – Smart Elevator System

There are now many “Smart Elevator System” installed for new commercial buildings in town. Here’s how it works:

  • Let’s say you have 4 elevator cars in the building lobby;
  • Numeric pads are installed in common areas where elevator passengers wait. Passengers enter their destination floor on the touch screen.
  • The requests are processed, and a message is displayed informing users to ride one of the four cars.
  • And in the cars, there are no floor buttons (!).

In a way it works like magic – because it groups passengers to different cars to minimize travel time.

So, is it a good system ? I think it depends on who you are … I mean if you work in that building, this design is pretty good.

But what if you work for DHL, UPS or Fedex ? In other words, you are a courier and need to deliver packages to say 3/F, 11/F, 21/F etc. etc. ? There are no buttons in the elevator cars, you know 😎 So, you have to press “3” in the lobby numeric pad, get into a car, go to that floor, deliver the package; then go back to lobby and press “11” in the numeric pad, get into yet another car. etc. etc. etc.

Lesson Learnt: It’s good for you, but may not be good for others.


As in the MasterCard ad …

Desktop PC : HK$ 5,XXX
Xeon Server : HK$ 21,XXX
Busy Website : Priceless

We can of course buy a lot of PCs, servers and software but it will all probably add up to be just an ordinary IT system … not necessarily a successful IT system. But let’s define what is a successful IT system – that is, an IT system that can deliver business value. The worst case scenario to us is we can spend all our time in doing something, fixing something, chasing something but not delivering business value. Therefore, we have to think hard for everything we do … how we can add value to ourselves, to our businesses.


No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination a person can overcome anything.” – B. Dodge