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Nashville’s user interface part II February 1, 2006

Posted by Pontiff in nashville, NashvillesNews.net, Pontification, Urban Planning, Usability, user interface.
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I’ve asked several level headed types — chiefly my beautiful and brilliant wife — their opinion of the signage issue which I rightly see as  left-handed  vs. right handed and oppression of the aforementioned left-handed minority. Also I’m looking to belabor a point when I don’t really care what they think and I need a way to start an argument.

“Where is it that my left-handed dyslectic logic fails?” (I forgot the part about dyslexia so add that to the list of minorities oppressed by the insensitive user interface design in Nashville.)

If you can spell you will already see something is wrong with me beyond left handedness and general lack of anything better to do than rail against poor working folks trying to make a living by showing us where to cross the street even if they sometimes break the monotony by leading left handed dyslectic types into traffic.

Marissa: “I know which side of the street is south.”

Me: “How?”

Marissa: “I’ve lived here all my life.”

Me: “Huh. What if someone just got to town.”

Marissa: “You can see the interstate sign from that corner.” (note this is typical right handed logic.)

Me: “So to cross the street here you have to look at an unreferenced sign and deduce your north south orientation? Also I lived here all my life before I moved away and couldn’t begin to tell you which direction is north, south or whatever.”

Marissa: “That was before they had interstates.”

Me: “Honey, assume you’re right. You’re not but assume. There’s no difference between the North or the south side in terms of safety. Someone decided that they’d save money by printing up these signs and slapping them on random telephone poles. One sign fits all. Use the South side of the street. Why not east?”

Marissa: “Whether the sides are the same is not relevant to how you can tell which is which. There is no east side of that street. Why would you make a sign that says to cross on a side of the street that doesn’t exist?”

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