What seemed like a goofy post turned out informative. I learned a lot about principles of interface design, in particular about differentiating and organizing interfaces.
What could cause 400 WWII pilots to raise the landing gear on their B-17 bomber just before touchdown? Catastrophic pilot error, or something more fundamental?
It was the psychologist Alphonsis Chapanis who first suggested that the high rate of crash landings might be the fault of poor interface design. The adjacent landing gear and flap control knobs were identically shaped. The pilots never stood a chance.
His temporary solution was to glue differently shaped strips of rubber to each switch, enabling blind operation by touch alone. This gave rise to the idea of shape coding and a system of differentiation still being followed in aircraft cockpits today.The UX of LEGO Interface Panels