Usability Costs Money?
It's a common complaint that "usability costs money". My question is, who's money?
My mom bought a Toyota Corolla, which I primarily care for during her usual absence overseas. It's going to cost me money one day. It's not because it's unreliable (Consumer Reports LOVES Toyota), it's because the shifter looks like this:
Looks pretty standard, hard to see how it's terribly consequential. The designers thought that as well.
In the picture, you might be able to the letters and numbers down the left side. That is not the approach my mom took. My mom, armed with decades of driving experience and half a second of observation, came to the conclusion that you put it down to the second level on the left to back out of the drive way, then the fourth level on the left to drive down the highway at 75.
Here are the key positions highlighted of Reverse, Neutral, and Drive highlighted in blue. My mom's preferred driving location is in red:
Hopefully, this clarifies an issue with her "everything I want is on the left" thinking. She's been running with her top gear as third. This probably means one day I'll have to link this blog post to my mechanics due to unnecessary wear of driving around like this for months and only discovering it once she complained "the car is running slow". Of course, you one can say "well, the user didn't look at the instructions right in front of their face!". Well, if only users paid attention to things right in front of their face.
Toyota might have saved some money, but they did not save my money, which is the most important kind to me. From now on, I will be paying closer attention to the layout of the shifter in the car, thanks to my fear that I may be paying more than attention when someone finally takes a look at my transmission.