week3 - observation
I bet I wasn't the first person who got embarrassed when first saw the combo lock.
Using locker is all about interaction, How to set the passcode, noticing I inserted the codes, and figuring out it is working or not is about the interface.
and here's all the different kinds of locks on the internet.
- Key-based padlocks
- Combination padlocks
- TSA-approved locks / or any digital code locks
I didn't ask all the international students in ITP, but most of the people I met here said they've never seen combination locks so far. As I was born and raised in Korea, I've seen only key locks and TSA-approved locks in my life. It is true that TSA-approved locks are very easy to pick (and it was one of my time killing play when I was young), it gave me the right feeling about using a digitalized code to open it. When I got a number, I just need to push each button, and the lock will be opened if I put the right one! There is no order to push it, I don't need to worry about whether I am using it right or not. Since I was using the digit locks are very easy to pick (it depends on their kind though, when I first saw the combination locks I thought I must be very secure)
So when I first tried to open my lock only with 3 set of digits I've taught, it was very embarrassing. That was because 1. I didn't know where to start, when does the lock recognize the I put the first digit? 2. Which direction should I turn? 3. how does it know that I put each number? Since it is a total analog lock, even while I was spinning the combination I cannot be sure whether I am doing right or not. For first few tries, it definitely didn't work as I expected. Funny thing is, I asked help to unlock it to an American friend here, he also couldn't unlock it. (I can say it took unlimited time to unlock it.) At that time I thought it must be much secure since it is very confusing, but now I know it's not. It's just one of the easy-picking locks. Anyway, I managed to unlock it with help from who learned how to use it by youtube.
If the lock was very secure due to the interaction and mechanism, I would say it is a successful lock system, but it isn't. It is very confusing and time-consuming interactive technology. (It is not an electronic technology though.) The reason for that is 1. users cannot tell how to use it without searching for instruction, such as which direction they need to turn, where to start it.) 2. the lock doesn't make any mechanical feedback to the numbers, so users cannot know they are putting the right numbers or not. 3. they don't let me know whether I finish putting the numbers or not, but I guess this is good for the security.
In that sense, in terms of the security and interaction, the best interaction for locks will be using the physical key. (as far as you don't lose it.)