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November 14, 2005 07:51 PM

Broken: Hotel room control panel

HotelcontrolpanelAndreas Constantinou points out:

This control panel in Chengde, China is a typical case of an over-engineered user experience that is really broken. It's a central control panel for a hotel room typical of high-end hotels in China, probably considered a must-have luxury.

There are several reasons why this is broken:

- If you try to turn on the TV using the remote control it doesn't work. My first thought is that the TV is broken. After careful inspection, you have to turn on the TV through this control panel, then zap through then channels.

- All the buttons are the same color, have a similar shape and are organised in a flat hierarchy. There is no sense of a contextual grouping. Are the channel/volume buttons for the TV, the music, or the world time?


Leave it to China for an overcomplicated remote. (first?)heh.

Posted by: noname at November 14, 2005 08:17 PM

personally, I think that thing is pretty friggin' sweeet.

Posted by: bob at November 14, 2005 08:24 PM

You'd think with a remote like that, they'd have a button for Porn. ;)

Posted by: Henry at November 14, 2005 09:56 PM

is the temp set for the tv or the mirror?

Posted by: gmangw at November 15, 2005 12:21 AM

I think the temperature setting is for the Heating / Cooling system.

I've seen too many of these things, mostly mounted solid in the night table in between beds.

Posted by: Trent Chernecki at November 15, 2005 03:06 AM

you'd think the hotel would have the presence of mind to put it's city in the selection list of world times.

_@_v[:::::::::::)~~~~ [(___)ΓΈ]

and dammit! where's the button for the trap door so i can send mister bond into the tank of sharks with frikkin laser beams attached to their head...

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at November 15, 2005 05:21 AM

that is a boring control panel. it should not be beige.

Posted by: Bob at November 15, 2005 08:24 AM

Why do you need a remote for a mirror?

Posted by: JAC at November 15, 2005 12:11 PM

I came across a similar control panel I came across in a hotel in Italy (and I submitted it to this site a month or 2 ago but haven't seen it show up yet).

It had pretty much the same problems as the one shown here, plus more bonus problems:

- It was wall mounted above the night table, so you couldn't operate it while lying or sitting in the bed.

- It wasn't illuminated (except for some LEDs in some of the buttons that just illuminated themselves).

- It had an ALARM button that looked and felt just like all the other buttons, with an icon that was supposed to look like a bell, but which also looked a lot like a lamp. Guess what I pressed when I wanted to turn on the light? Luckily, no bells rang, but a little LED in the button turned on that I couldn't turn off again. No harm done though, nobody from the front desk called or came to the door.

Posted by: Alex B at November 15, 2005 01:21 PM

I love it. I love playing with buttons. I just hope it doesn't reset itself so the next guy can get really frustated. Ohh, the possibilities.

Posted by: tom at November 15, 2005 04:40 PM

Is it just me, or is the large version of the image broken?

Posted by: codeman38 at November 16, 2005 09:20 AM

Not just you, codeman...

Posted by: Rod Ressler at November 16, 2005 05:15 PM

Well, i know what is wrong with the tv.

It is not really broken, well:

The TVs in China have a power save feature for when you turn on the main power, it does not turn on the tv. Only pressing a change channel butten on the tv or the power butten on the remote will turn on the tv. Well, the blame i think goes to the TV makers.

Posted by: Will at November 16, 2005 09:17 PM

"you'd think the hotel would have the presence of mind to put it's city in the selection list of world times."

ALL of China is in one time zone. Hence, if Beijing is covered, so are Harbin and Chonqing. The single time zone is a pain for people in the west of China in particular.

These bloody control panels are a nuisance, even when I was travelling with my nephew who knows the language very well. Chinese hotels are the only place I've seen them, although I have not been in very many foreign countries, and usually when I have been, I have not stayed in places up scale enough to have them. In Beijing this summer we stayed at one place that had night stands with control panels from somewhere else stuck in the room, but not connected to anything. (That was actually our only real bad hotel.)

Posted by: Old Dave at November 19, 2005 12:27 AM

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