User Experience of ADM Building
In this exercise, I walk around the basement and 1st floor of ADM. ADM has many universal design for the handicapped throughout the building, every level has a handicapped toilet and lift buttons are placed at a height where the wheel-chair bound can easily access. Signs that indicate the direction to the handicapped toilets are also visible at the lift lobby areas. Furthermore, a handicapped lift was installed at areas where the wheel-chair bound cannot fully access just by using the main lift. An automated door that leads to the bus stop right outside ADM provides ease of entry and exiting the building.
The main entrance of ADM building has a roundabout foyer that stands out from other entrances. Once inside the building, only those familiar to the building would be able to navigate themselves to respective rooms because there are no directory that indicate to first time users where to go until they approach the lift lobby. Alternatively, they can approach the Admin office at the right corner of the main entrance to ask for directions.
However, even at the lift lobby, the directory does not give much information to the users on way finding. The directory indicated the various rooms and its room number, yet the map given at the bottom does not relate to these names or numbers. Hence, users will still have to resort to walking aimlessly or to ask directions to navigate in the building. Moreover, this directory only indicates the rooms on the 1st floor, the rest of the levels are missing these directory. Perhaps, the only map that users on other levels can rely on will be the loading plan map located above the lift button on each floor.
At the basement, I saw a directory map that provides information on classroom locations and room numbers of the Animation major department. This directory map is much more successful than the one on the 1st floor. It shows a clear layout of the area and label the room and its respective number directly on the position of the room. Perhaps each major can have such maps to provide information of their facilities and location.
Despite the well-positioned placement of passenger lifts, the interior are only designed with buttons on one side of the lift, this may result in inconvenience as some users may not be able to reach their desired level when the lift is packed and they can’t reach the buttons. Staircases are provided at visible locations as an alternative for users to access the different levels of the building.
I noticed that every classroom will have a name plate on the door, indicating the room name and its respective room number. I felt that this was a useful way of informing any users whether they found the right room. Also, lecture halls have are installed with a light box on top of the their main door, which can light up to show ‘lecture in progress’ further informing people on whether the rooms are in use.
An interesting signage I notice as I walk down the aisle lined with lockers on both sides at basement was a glow in the dark sign that indicates the fire extinguishers that are in between lockers. These signs are not seen above extinguishers that are in the open. I think it is a thoughtful installation as the fire extinguishers despite its eye-catching red colour are completely obscured by the lockers when one look down the aisle from far. How ever, with these triangular signs high above the extinguisher, at one look we can locate the nearest extinguisher available which is extremely crucial when an emergency occur.
Another issue that should be work on regarding the user experience in ADM will be a better indication on the direction in which the door should be pushed. All glass doors at the entrance/exit of ADM are installed with a lock system that can only be opened by a registered matric card or password. Hence the doors can only be opened in one direction. However on the door looked identical on both sides, without any form of information on the direction in which the door will open. Many times, users will have to either guess whether to push or pull or to look up for the position of the lock before swinging the door open.
All in all, ADM has done well in terns of designing a holistic user experience for the physically impaired and on highlighting emergency tools. But there can be improvements made on the direction indications for way finding around the building.