Page 1




n elevator , popularly also known as a lift in India, is a form of transportation that moves vertically, used for transporting people, cars or freight between floors of a building or other structures. Human beings could think of creating taller building only because of this technology. Initially, around 300BC, the primitive elevators were powered by water through water wheels and animals or people. For almost 200 years, this idea of elevators remained the same without a single hit of development.

The New York Marriott was the first to introduce a smart elevator system that assigned passengers to elevators depending on what floor they were heading to.

The way elevators were designed changed completely during the Industrial Revolution when hydraulics and electricity were discovered. The idea of transporting people and objects through a moving cabin came with a lot of safety concerns. The design used today was first presented in the 1850s. The elevator companies now are aiming to make their machines more and more accessible by applying highly advanced technology. The elevators today are much safer, efficient and also flexible when it comes to accessibility and convenience.

Car elevators were introduced as an idea for space saving in public spaces and structures, by architects and building planners. With the growing population, the numbers of buildings have been increasing every day whereas the space is becoming more and more a matter of constrain. Thus, vehicle elevators have now become a necessity more than just mere element of luxury like it was in the initial years. Car elevators run on a comparatively lower speed and have a heavy load capacity, thus one of the other use of these elevators is also for the purpose of transporting freight. A solution for space constrained spaces, car elevators are under scope of splendid innovation.

Porsche Design Tower complete with car elevators A Miami Beach condo developer plans to build a new skyscraper with a robotic parking deck built in. The Porsche Design Tower project will allow owners to ride their vehicles into a robotic elevator system that drops them and their vehicles at their doorstep. The $560 million tower will rise in Sunny Isles Beach as part of collaboration between Porsche Design Group and a local developer, Gil Dezer. “After the resident pulls over and switches off the engine, a robotic arm that works much like an automatic plank will scoop up the car and put it into the elevator.” “Once at the desired floor, the same robotic arm will park the car, leaving the resident nearly in front of his front door.” The condo will have 132 units over 57 stories, with larger units sporting up to four parking spaces per unit.


Redesigning a lift panel, by choosing a suitable context that has a place for a new intervention, while dealing with the context, sensitively and logically to adhere to the demands of the users.

Further research conducted by forming customer journey maps and thus figuring out the problem areas.



The distance between the car and the panel makes either the passenger or the driver get out of the car to operate


Giving the call command for the lift to arrive again is not a very convenient job, thus a person needs to out of the car or again needs some assistance.


The unnecessary options that the lift contains adds to the complication



Redesigning a lift panel

To make it more accessible and convenient to use

WHERE? Looking at parking lot and vehicle elevators as the space to intervene



For the driver / passenger using the space

Working around the significance of symbols and coming up with a new design for panels, in a way that the user has to deal with the simplest form of an interface, which is not only convenient but effective too.

Use of an audio detector for voice friendly commands? How about gesture controls?

Giving the commands outside the lift Touch screen projections on the rear view mirror might just work

Removing excess buttons from the panel for better understanding and less confusion

Proximity sensors to make the panel move towards the car Dashboards outside displaying the panel position


Taking vehicle elevators as the context, this project aims at creating the entire experience of the user availing the facility of a vehicle/freight friendly elevator more convenient, by including an interface that is not just effective but also efficient in itself, so that there is least involvement of the third person required. With the application of the principals like exclusivity and simplicity, the framework of this design intends to serve the users with a reliable design.

INNER PANEL The current design of the inner panel of the lifts include a whole lot of button, including the floors and the door open/close. It becomes difficult for the user to reach the panel and thus they end up getting the task done by going out of their way. Getting out of the car inside the lift and too much movement too isn’t exactly the safest of options. While being in a car itself, the user doesn’t necessarily need to have control over the fan, and the light is something should be on anyway without a doubt, thus these 2 options don’t really need to be there. At the same time, the stop button is something that is highly misused, which again can be removed because of the same.

The bell and alarm button although, are something that are not only important, but also provide the user with a sense of assurance that incase of emergencies, there is a way to get quick help from whomsoever. At the same time, the door open/close button helps incase of variant situations, but not regularly.

The new panel design, that includes just three options, shows the element of hierarchy using the backlit surface on the buttons. It functions in the following way-In case of emergency, the alarm button with the yellow light starts blinking, while the other call button remains unlit, so that the user knows that he/she is supposed to press the alarm button first to attract attention. -Once the alarm starts ringing, the call button with red back lights starts blinking as the alarm light goes off, to indicate that that the next step is to press the Phone call button. This way the user follows the adviced steps. -The door option here, works as a dual indicator for both close and open commands. So for example the door is closed, pressing the door button would open it and close it if the door is open. The white light on the button shows a movement from the center, replicating the opening and closing of the elevator door.

The below image shows a mockup of what the panel would look like in an actual vehicle lift scenario.

OUTER PANEL The outer lift panel, is something that is taking the place of the inner panel in terms of functions and utility. Usually, the vehicle elevators are slow and thus the car outside ends up waiting for the elevator and wasting the time. The idea behind this panel is to combine it with the parking ticket dispensing machines found in a lot of parking lots. What this would do is not just help you choose the floor, but the allotment of floor happens in a way that the car as per its size gets the designated parking space. The main focus of this panel is to include it in public parking lots with space constraints that have vehicle elevators installed instead of ramps. The panel is made keeping in mind the human body, and the far size too. The inclusion on Braille has been avoided as this panel exclusively for cars and the drivers. The design is very easy and not as detailed as the colorful ticket dispensers that currently are in use. The idea is to place them at both entry and exit points of the parking lot.

The wire frames here are basically placed one the panel screen for people to navigate through it to get to the desired floor while also getting a parking ticket. The touch screen and the navigation text on the screen keeps guiding you about every step that you have to take next. The interface is simple, at the entry point you choose your type of car, a floor you want to park at from the available options and then confirm the information for the ticket to be printed. The ticket includes a QR code that has all the data right from car type, floor chosen, entry time, date and day fed into it, so at the exit the same data can be used.

Wireframes for entry point

Wireframes for exit point

The exit point includes a procedure with three screens to navigate through. It’s simple, one places the receipt on the scanner glass and gets the information displayed on the screen, as soon as the information is displayed the person can choose the exit button. Now this exit command also is connected to the lift, so while exiting just clicking on the panel one is giving the same command for the lift is that it goes directly to the exit.

This is mainly done to avoid unnecessary congestion on various floors since the area is already space constrained. If the driver already knows what floor the parking is available, it’ll make the whole process a lot faster. Also in the time difference of giving an exit command and reaching the exit gate on leaving the lift, one can keep the change ready, as that would save a lot of time and congestion on the exit too where people waste time arranging for change and arguing with the workers about the tickets.

Touch Screen

QR Scanner Ticket outlet


The XD protoype of the outer panel wireframe was tested along with some users, since that was the main area of intervention and new ideas. The feedback given by the users was quite valuable and as follows-The interface is very easy to navigate through -The fact that it can be tested on phone is great -Although, testing the same on a real size model and situation might just help more effectively.

This project has been such an eye opener to me in terms of the technology used and inventions being done in the field of design. There is so much happening around the globe every single minute and so much to get inspired from. The fact that even redesigning a basic panel for an elevator can be such a fun challenge that brings in so many new spheres of learning is just so thrilling.

References -Images taken from -Dichromatic Data i) ii) iii) iv) -Synchromatic Data

Elevator Panel Design  

The project is based on redesigning an elevator panel for vehicle elevators. The beautiful photographs takn from research purpose was taken...

Elevator Panel Design  

The project is based on redesigning an elevator panel for vehicle elevators. The beautiful photographs takn from research purpose was taken...