Passenger Elevators at MIT Media Lab


Riding an elevator today is taken completely for granted. The basic function of a passenger elevator is to transport people from one floor to another. But unlike a cargo elevator, which is intended for transporting goods, a passenger elevator also needs to deliver a pleasant user experience for the passengers. Unfortunately, many of the passenger elevators today are designed no differently than cargo elevators that have just been made smaller. The fact that passenger elevators provide a complete user experience in addition to the basic transportation function is often completely ignored by elevator designers. In this report, I present a detailed analysis of the user-experience afforded by the passenger elevators at the MIT Media Lab. I compare and contrast the human factors of different elevators, uncover some surprising and other less surprising flaws with the elevator designs, and make specific recommendations about how to make the elevator user experience more pleasant and enjoyable. Some of the solutions I present in this report can be implemented into any existing elevator within minutes and at a cost of just a few dollars. Others of the presented solutions can only be addressed during the elevator design phase.

Passenger Elevators in Building E15

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Passenger Elevators in Building E14

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