The 1,000 Floor Elevator: Why Most Designers Fail Google’s Infamous Interview Design Challenge

Svilen
Svilen
Jun 21, 2017 · 5 min read
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Images by Jherin Miller
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Aayush Jain
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Images by Kristine Yuen
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Images by Aayush Jain

The Presumption Reflex

If a friend says “I’m going to the movie theater” we automatically presume she’s going to watch a movie, because personal experience tells us that’s the main reason people visit theaters. But it was never stated she’s actually going to watch a film. However unlikely, she may be meeting up a friend or just really likes overpriced Skittles. When given a scenario, we have a tendency to conclude outcomes that seem reasonable to us.

Let’s tackle the challenge

Before we get to the 1,000th floor, we need to start with the foundation- uncover constraints and obtain greater context. Let’s start with the…

Purpose

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Images by Kristine Yuen
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Images by Kristine Yuen

Environment

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Images by William Clark
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Users

This line of questioning quickly leads us to the realization that we don’t know who the users are or what their needs might be. Is the interface meant for elevator passengers on the way to their apartment or operators who control multiple industrial elevators in a washing machine factory control room? Is there even a need for an interface in the first place? Could it be automated?


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Svilen's Realm

I invent, design and craft experiences and solutions…

Svilen

Written by

Svilen

Speculative Designer | creator of RubixToolkit.com & DesignSecrets.org

Svilen's Realm

I invent, design and craft experiences and solutions ranging from reimagining the mundane to protecting fundamental human rights. I share my visions with the world through the language of design, film, and writing.

Svilen

Written by

Svilen

Speculative Designer | creator of RubixToolkit.com & DesignSecrets.org

Svilen's Realm

I invent, design and craft experiences and solutions ranging from reimagining the mundane to protecting fundamental human rights. I share my visions with the world through the language of design, film, and writing.

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