Car UI

I don’t talk about this much, but Dr. Drang (I wish that was his real name, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t) has what is probably one of the most usefully geeky blogs out there, with a particular focus on Apple products. He was the reason I started to plot my weight into Simplenote on the iPhone using a TextExpander keystroke snippet to insert the date in the format I wanted.

He talks about Calvetica’s UI and is spot on when saying that the week view is wrong.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with going row-by-row, but conventions should be adhered to unless there’s a very good reason to break them. My favorite example is the brake and gas pedal layout in a car. That the brake is to the left of the gas is merely a convention, but it’s a convention a car maker would be an idiot to break.

I found that interesting, because I’m not sure something as important as the placement of the brake and gas pedals was accidental. I think somebody thought about it. I might be wrong of course.

My response was that I doubt the placement of the accelerator pedal to the right is just convention. We spend more time on the gas than on the brake. The gas is easier to hit and your legs are in a more comforable configuration that way.

Then there’s the body language – gas = open posture, opening up, expanding, accelerating etc., brake = closed posture, closing down, contracting, you can see where this is going.

I also think that in an emergency, you will be applying the brake, and your body closes down in an emergency, going from an open posture to a closed posture is more natural than the vice versa.