Sometimes, it’s the Small Things that Count

Last fall, I bought a 2008 Nissan Altima. I absolutely love it, and I chose it over other cars like the Accord and Camry because of the way it drove. But, there is one thing that really bugs me: the steering wheel controls. More particularly, the volume and next/previous track controls.

Nissan Altima Steering Wheel ControlsAs I wrote in The Importance of Testing, I feel like some problems with products could be resolved pretty easily with just a little testing. The steering wheel controls on the 2008 Nissan Altima are no different.

For some reason, Nissan decided to have the volume, which you turn up and down, be a horizontal control. So basically, if you want to turn the volume up, you hit the control to the right. If you want to turn the volume down, you hit it to the left.

Also strange, when you want to go to the next song, you hit the control up, and to go to the previous song, you hit the control down.

Is that just completely opposite or what? It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode: The Opposite

George: Hey, I just found twenty dollars! I tell you this, something is happening in my life. I did this opposite thing last night. Up was down, black was white, good was —

Jerry: Bad.

George: Day was —

Elaine: Night.

Seinfeld: The Opposite

Every time I am about to adjust the volume level or change the song, it takes me that extra second to think about it. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to it yet, but if the volume were up and down, and the change track control were left and right, it would be what I expect and wouldn’t take that extra time to process.

So to relate it to the web, sometimes, it’s the small things that count. Think about conventions that exist in everyday life and see if they can be applied to the web as well. Don’t Make Me Think.