This is a classic case of poor user centred design and highlights the importance of why we always think of the user’s needs, wants and expectations when designing for them. This is why analysing users’ current mental models is important too – his expectation based on his past life experience was that red boxes in the street are always letter boxes. So the designer of this box definitely should not have made it red!
This photo just goes to show:
– People don’t always pay attention to what you want them to.
– They don’t always read everything.
– People make assumptions based on visual appearance, like the colour of something. Post boxes are red so he presumed the obvious!
– Older people often suffer from poor user experiences. Failing eyesight makes them more reliant on good clear design.
And finally, this is why user experience designers and usability specialists will always be needed in the world 😀
Here’s a post box so you can compare: