Photo courtesy of flickr user tasuki
Traffic lights are ubiquitous and can be found in almost any city in the world. Whether it’s a pedestrian crossing, road intersection or anywhere with competing flows in traffic, you will always see traffic lights.
The concept is simple:
Traffic lights alternate the right of way accorded to road users by displaying lights of a standard color (red, yellow/amber, and green) following a universal color code (and a precise sequence to enable comprehension by those who are color blind).
- Illumination of the green light allows traffic to proceed in the direction denoted,
- Illumination of the yellow light denoting, if safe to do so, prepare to stop short of the intersection, and
- Illumination of the red signal prohibits any traffic from proceeding.
When it comes to designing software experiences this days, there is sometimes the need to display statuses against a record, usually coming in the form of a contrasting colour, self-explanatory icons, or even accompanied by text to better explain the status of the record.
Rather than re-inventing the wheel each time, why not look to the excellent design of traffic lights as a guiding principle?