Do you ever think solutions are too complicated, and everything’s moving too fast? Have you noticed that sometimes the high-tech products meant to make our lives easier are more of a chore to figure out and use?
As technology began to exponentially advance in the 1990s, the field of user experience (UX) study emerged – to analyze how users feel when they interact with a product or service.
You’re probably more familiar with the concept of UX in terms of software development and website design, but it’s actually pertinent to everything manufactured for another person’s use. That includes our lift assist hinges.
From ordering to installation and operation, let’s examine our Lift Gate Assistant from a UX perspective:
UX & Your Lift Gate Assistant
Whitney Quesenbery, a UX and usability expert, once offered five criteria that a product must meet to be usable:
- Error Tolerance
- Ease of Learning
Using the above criteria as a benchmark, see how usable our Lift Gate Assistant really is:
1. Effectiveness: Delivering Results
The primary goal of a lift assist hinge is to provide a smooth and reliable mechanism for lifting and lowering a flip-up countertop, lid, or table. (hereafter referred to as a lid) when needed.
Effectiveness in this context means that users can easily achieve this objective with a high degree of accuracy. Our hinge should operate flawlessly, ensuring that the countertop securely stays in the position you leave it – whether that’s up, down, or partially open.
Delivering that reliable operation requires exact measurements to determine which hinge you need (more on that later).
We also provide clear and effective instructions on our Lift Gate Assistant’s installation and usage. Anyone with a basic understanding of mechanics should be able to easily install it.
2. Efficiency: Getting Jobs Done Faster
Efficiency is all about speed and reducing the number of steps required to achieve the desired outcome.
When it comes to ordering, we’ve made the process as simple as possible. You can:
- Contact us and we’ll guide you through correlating lid measurements to our part numbers
- Give us your measurements and we’ll tell you which part to order
- Use our online Lift Gate Assistant lid calculator:
It’s also a straightforward process for installation. We’ve eliminated unnecessary steps so you can install and use our heavy-duty lift hinges ASAP.
We’ve written extensively about the efficiency of operating our specially engineered mechanical motion control solutions. Our designs provide:
3. Engagement: Pleasant & Gratifying Experiences
An engaging product captivates users and leaves a positive impression. While aesthetics play a role in engagement, it’s equally important to focus on the functionality and practicality of the hinge.
Our lift hinge strikes a balance between visual appeal and functionality.
Made of steel and powder coated to provide additional protection from the elements, its smooth operation, ergonomic design, and quality materials all contribute to an engaging experience.
And as far as "pleasant and gratifying experiences" go, nothing beats the joy of using mechanical motion control to transform the typically strenuous task of lifting a heavy lid, say, a 100 lb. granite countertop, into a remarkably easy task.
4. Error Tolerance: Minimizing Mistakes & Maximizing Recovery
No product is entirely immune to user errors. Error tolerance involves minimizing the occurrence of errors and providing easy recovery options when they do happen.
Knowing the weight of an object before installing a hinge is essential to ensuring the hinge is able to support a countertop or lid safely.
Hinges are rated to hold a certain amount of weight, and if the weight exceeds this limit it can cause the hardware to break and cause unsafe conditions. Even worse, right from the start the hinge won’t operate as intended.
Addressing this issue, we’ve developed several Lift Gate Assistant hinge models to fit different needs. We offer single- and dual-hinge models in light, medium, and heavy capacities.
Ordering the correct size of the lift assist hinge from the outset is crucial, as it ensures optimal performance, longevity, and most importantly, safety in the mechanical motion control of your lift gate.
Sometimes during the process of ordering and installing a lift assist hinge, you might hit engineering speed bumps. Don't worry, our proficient team of engineers is ready to guide you through most installation-related queries or problems.
For Instance: While inputting your lid weight and length into our online calculator, you might encounter an "Out of Range" message.
This usually indicates a requirement for a minor weight adjustment. To resolve it, you simply need to add a small amount of weight below the lid, which should bring you within the desired lid torque range. However, it may also indicate your lid length is too short.
Our team at Weber Knapp is always on standby to help you navigate such issues!
If your lift gate doesn't operate as expected once installed, it's field adjustable. Give us a call, and our team will be happy to walk you through the process!
5. Ease of Learning: Intuitive Design for Quick Mastery
For a product to become an integral part of a user's routine, it must be easy to learn and operate.
A flip-up countertop hinge should align with users' mental models of how such hinges work, making it intuitive to operate.
We've made ordering, installing, and especially operating our heavy duty lift hinge all as easy to understand as possible – which was a feat considering all the complex physics involved!
To ensure a perfect fit and optimal functionality, we invite you to download our comprehensive PDF walkthrough of the step-by-step measurement process:
Utility + Usability = Usefulness
From ordering to installation and operation, we've refined each aspect of your journey, aligning our design with UX criteria – effectiveness, efficiency, engagingness, error tolerance, and ease of learning.
Incorporating all these usability aspects, a flip-up countertop hinge becomes not only user-friendly but also genuinely useful. Its practicality, ease of use, and engaging design make it a valuable addition to any project. The result is a lift assist hinge that’s not only a mechanical motion control solution, but also a reliable one people will actually use.
With our Lift Gate Assistant, you're not just installing a hinge; you're enriching your user experience.
Make Your UX the Best
We're ready to resolve your questions and improve your UX. Ask our engineering team directly: