Blog #1 Essay

Submitted By devv44
Words: 1334
Pages: 6

COMM 2450 Blog
Hall of Shame: Faucet
Mapping
Feedback
Visibility

A bathroom faucet is one of the most commonly used everyday appliances and it is expected to operate easily. Many public restrooms house these automatic, hands-free faucets as a way to create a more hygienic and environmentally friendly bathroom experience. In order to operate these faucets, the user has to place her hands in the basin, at a level that can be read by the sensor for the water to turn on. The water flow will stop once the sensor can no longer identify the presence of your hands. There are no cold and hot water knobs located on either side of the faucet because the sensor only operates based on motion. It is a simple, sleek design with a well-known purpose, but the automatic faucets are known to be very temperamental and frustrating to use because of the inherent faults in the design. Everyone has a well developed conceptual model for faucets because it is one of the most common appliances. Therefore, they know how the device should work and the end result will be for water to flow from the faucet. But the problem appears when a user wants to figure out how it will turn on.
Feedback: light turns on
Visibility: no handles or knobs
Mapping:
No temperature control
Cannot reliably sense your hands
Falsey turn on when it reads a brightly colored shirt
Or doesn’t turn on even when your hands are directly in line with the sensor

Despite these problems, the automatic faucet does well in terms of affordances. It is a very simple device with a very simple purpose. Water will flow from the faucet when the sensor detects your hands.

A kitchen faucet is one of the most commonly used everyday appliances and it is expected to operate easily. The designers of this new “touch” faucet sought to create a more hygienic and environmentally friendly bathroom experience. In order to operate these faucets, the user has to touch any part of the faucet head for the water to turn on. The water flow will stop when the user touches the faucet a second time. There are no cold and hot water knobs located on either side of the faucet because the sensor only operates based on touch.
It is a simple, sleek design with a well-known purpose, but the touch faucets are known to be very temperamental and frustrating to use because of the inherent faults in the design. Everyone has a well developed conceptual model for faucets because it is one of the most common appliances. Therefore, they know how the device should work and the end result will be for water to flow from the faucet. But the problem appears when a user wants to figure out how it will turn on. It is designed in a very different manner than most faucets we have used because it lacks knobs or handles that are usually responsible for turning on hot or cold water. This is a problem in visibility. Because the user only sees a faucet head and no cold/hot water knobs, it is not immediately clear how to turn on the water. Many people have developed a conceptual model for automatic faucets, but these devices have a visible sensor on the base of the faucet that allows the user to turn on the water. The touch faucets do not have a sensor or any form of visible indication for how to cause water to flow. The user has to develop a new conceptual model for the touch faucet because it is not consistent with other faucets.
Besides the faucet, there is a control to regulate temperature. This feature presents an issue with mapping. The touch feature was created to make kitchen preparation and clean up easier, but there is a poor relationship between temperature control and results. It is not so obvious how to turn or twist the handle in order to reach the desired temperature. A major mistake from the designers is that it now requires an extra step to wash the dishes because first you have to touch the faucet to begin the water…