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Michael_Kriegshauser
 
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While not a fan of the open sign, I figured I could not gripe if I did not propose a solution. Read how I took a stab at improving the open sign while keeping its simple on/off functionality at its core.

https://medium.com/@michaelkriegshauser ... .j431hv1e9

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Cyberdemon
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It's an interesting design exploration, but it seems without any actual usability testing it's hard to say that it's any better of a solution.

Signs ultimately are "learned" behaviors. None of us knew what half of those street signs meant until we went to drivers ed, and in other countries signs often have completely different meanings. Most of us learned that a glowing sign in the window meant something was open at a glance, or we learned it by walking up to a store and pulling on the door to see that it was closed and locked.

One could argue that for something like this, any attempt to improve it will actually make it worse, simply because the legacy is so deeply culturally buried in our thinking. It's like arguing for the Dvorak vs Qwerty keyboard, despite one being the superior solution we're going to be stuck this way forever.

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KenoLeon
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I think your exploration is a bit shallow and you might have a bit of an ego/arrogance problem. ( shocking in this profession I know )

I don't know you and you might be the nicest guy btw, the ego-arrogance just applies to this particular project and how you are presenting it, remove yourself from the problem and let me show you what I mean:

Let's start with the exploration part: "I hate open signs" , ok tell us why you hate them.

a blue and red glow in every store ignored by everyone

Says who ?, what research have you done ? In more than one occasion I've driven around a block looking for the open sign on a restaurant or a pharmacy, or a red lantern ; )

For the larger population the red “OPEN,” screams “GO AWAY”.


Ehh no, red light does not spoil night vision and also represents about 64% of our available cones ( green~ 32%, blue ~ 2% ), so it is a convenient sought after color for multiple important circumstances.

Giving no other hint what its message is to a customer (with Monochromacy-Achromatopsia)


I dispute this,light intensity is preserved ( due to rods which are tuned for that), so it would look glowy (open) vs non glowy (close), I would go find someone with Monochromatic vision and ask them if they have any problems with the open signs and present their testimony, they probably have other problems though, how about the blind ?, people in wheelchairs ?

In general I think you are just conveniently choosing or making up information to fit your solution while ignoring other aspects that might conflict, that is a nasty bias to have as a designer and as I said it's just my impression and I could be wrong.

The solution I think fails , but again, I am just one person, so I asked 6 random customers on a Starbucks just now what do they thought of the sign if they saw it on a window (the red one) , their answer was that something bad had happened inside, that there was an accident ahead and that they shouldn't enter or some variation, they all looked puzzled with the blue one, but one ventured there was a promotion of some sort, this research took about 3 minutes and required nothing but a smile and an excuse me can you help me with something, what testing have you made ?

I also think you fail to understand the core problem and opportunities, it is not that one person finds the sign ugly ( we all probably do ) , but rather that we still don't have a reliable system for informing costumers of changing hours at one level as well as communicating with them other relevant information, the sign I think becomes irrelevant at this point, but you were already invested, not sure if you realized this.

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ralphzoontjens
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There you see the value of in-situ testing.

Right off the bat my suggestion would be a pole with 24 RGB Power LEDs, one for every hour. All closed hours would glow dimly red, all open hours in a custom color for each business, with the current hour brightly lit. The pole can either be flush with the building facade or stick out into the street for visibility. It is very visible, informative and a relatively low-cost modern touchpoint for customers.

For larger businesses I see more value in interactive touchscreen kiosks outside the building providing all information in a coherent experience.
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Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby rukka » March 15th, 2017, 8:04 am


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I always thought red lights were used to welcome people into places of business. Roxanne....

Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby yo » March 15th, 2017, 11:08 pm

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I get the designer dissatisfaction with the current OPEN signs, but I fail to see why the solution is better. To me the issue with the existing solutions is the light solution, but at least they clearly communicate their intent. With the proposed solution you still get the light solution, but the intent is not clear. How would this be better than a more universally appealing but clearly legible sign? Or perhaps even better, a universally read pictogram (icon)? Does this really solve the perceived problem and is the perceived problem and actual issue?

I value the exploration and discourse though. Always better to take a stab than idly complain.

Perhaps there is a motion element? Think of the old spinning barber pole? Spinning meant open, still meant closed. Pretty clean.

Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby iab » March 16th, 2017, 7:45 am


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I'd call it a good start.

But you only have shown 1 idea. You have no data from the customer with regards to your solitary idea.

That is unacceptable.

Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby yo » March 16th, 2017, 9:01 am

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I'm not one for participatory design but this could be a fun one to get 5 non designers in a room for an hour talking and you quickly sketch documenting ideas.

Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby IDiot » March 16th, 2017, 9:36 am

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Blue light at night is not great for us.
http://darksky.org/why-is-blue-light-at-night-bad/
There are studies out there that go anywhere from hindering our circadian rhythms (relatively accepted at this point) to causing certain types of cancer (may be reaching)
https://selfhacked.com/2016/12/19/health-effects-bluelight-at-night/
However, there does appear to be a growing consensus that exposure to artificial blue light at night has negative effects on the human body.


If I lived in an apartment near too many late night or 24/7 stores with your solution in mind, I would not be pleased in the least.

Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby iab » March 16th, 2017, 9:46 am


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IDiot wrote:If I lived in an apartment near too many late night or 24/7 stores with your solution in mind, I would not be pleased in the least.


I don't know. I heard from somewhere red light has an adverse affect.

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Re: I hate open signs, so I tried to improve it

Postby IDiot » March 16th, 2017, 9:56 am

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iab wrote:
IDiot wrote:If I lived in an apartment near too many late night or 24/7 stores with your solution in mind, I would not be pleased in the least.


I don't know. I heard from somewhere red light has an adverse affect.

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LOL That was top of mind the whole time I was typing and thought to share, but did not as it did not support my case, and I am unsure how much research Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld put into that episode.
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