If you are building a high-rise structure for commercial use, then you will, of course, need to think carefully about your lifts. Yet these devices are more than simply an efficient way of travelling up or down, and you need to ensure that they are carefully designed from both an aesthetic and practical point of view. What are some of the factors you need to consider?

Your Starting Point

Of course, much will depend on the nature of the building and whether it will be populated by workers (who will be familiar with the place) or visitors (who may not). Some designers are tempted to go overboard with the layout or bespoke nature of a lift, but practical reasons must be considered first and foremost in every case.

Sacrificing Practicality for Design

Many building owners fail to take into account user-friendly design when they introduce a lift control panel. They may try to be too "arty" while carrying through some design staples from elsewhere, making the lift different so that people are even more impressed by their creation. Yet lifts can sometimes be stressful, especially for those who may be impaired in some way. The last thing they want is to be confused by a control panel or to spend any longer within such a closed environment than they need to. Thus, simplicity and usability are the key factors, and design comes next.

User Experience

Remember, a user must be able to determine how to use the lift in a matter of seconds once they have entered. The interface must be as simple as possible, and you should avoid any distracting features that may look good but do not necessarily contribute.

All options must be clear, visible and easy to select, and don't automatically assume that a first time user knows where they are. Make the buttons that relate to the floor they are on larger or more visible and clearly show them where the building exit is. After all, the exit is not always on the bottom floor, and you will certainly annoy some of your first-time visitors if they simply assume that and then get out in the basement instead.

Other Factors

Also, don't forget people who are confined to wheelchairs or those who have sight issues. Make sure that the buttons are not too high up for wheelchair users and incorporate Braille wherever needed. And make sure your buttons are laid out from top to bottom rather than left to right. Once again, their function should be immediately apparent whenever a first-time visitor walks in.

Expert Advice

These are just some of the factors to consider when you are designing your new commercial lift. For further advice, talk with commercial lift installation experts who have dealt with many similar projects in the past.