General Munro isn’t sure what’s going to come out of the other end of Mactilburgh’s process. He’s never seen a Mondoshawan and doesn’t know if they can be trusted. Fortunately for his sense of panic, there’s a built in kill switch on the control panel facing the nucleolab chamber. To activate the switch, he slips his multipass into a slot. While this card is in the slot, a small red LED lights, and the Big Red Button is active.
The interface is simple to read, which is nice. The button conveys a bit of its importance through its size and color. The order of operations is well laid out for a Western user: left to right, in the order of reading.
There are lots of questions about the security strategy, though. Single-factor authentication is too easy to thwart. Couldn’t someone just take his multipass and use it? How does the system know it’s really Munro? Better would be multifactor authentication, requiring both this token and either a knowledge token like a password, or an inheritance factor. Maybe it could require Munro to place his other hand on a handprint reader before the button activates.
Another problem is that the signal that this button is active is too tiny: that little red LED that’s associated with the slot rather than the button. If this is an undoable action, you’d hope that the input would convey the sense of risk. Maybe have the button glow, or surround it with a glowing red ring (think the Krell warning system)?
If it really is a kill switch, i.e. would kill the subject, a nice safeguard against accidental activation would be a press-and-hold button, requiring Munro to hold it down for a few seconds while a warning klaxon sounds. This would give Munro the opportunity to change his mind or move his hand if he’d placed it accidentally. If it triggers something nonlethal, like an incapacitating sticky foam, then no such delay is necessary.
Wouldn’t a better guard against accidental activation be a flip-open cover, to prevent someone from leaning on it?
That it would! There’s a balance of immediacy of access but I’ve already cost the user time by suggesting a time delay.