To restore the power that Nedry foolishly shut down (and thereby regain a technological advantage over the dinosaurs), Dr. Sattler must head into the utility bunker that routes power to different parts of the park. Once she is there Hammond, back in the Visitors Center, communicates to her via two-way radio that operating it is a two part process: Manually providing a charge to the main panel, and then closing each of the breakers.
The Main Panel
To restore a charge to the main panel, she manually cranks a paddle (like a kinetic-powered watch, radio, or flashlight), then firmly pushes a green button labeled “Push to Close”. We hear a heavy click inside the panel as the switch flips something, and then the lights on the Breaker Panel list light up green.
Now that she has built up a charge in the circuit, she has to turn on each of the breakers one by one.
Each individual circuit has a dedicated button to open/close it. Each is switched with a simple illuminated button protected by a heavy, clear pushbutton cover that has to be opened manually.
Green indicates that the circuit has tripped, and power is not flowing to that part of the park. Red means that the circuit is closed and live. Slowly, one by one, Dr. Sattler flips the cover and presses the red button for each part of the breaker panel. These switches are clearly labeled as HERBIVORE FEEDING COMPOUND, or VISITORS CNTR.
As she flips each circuit on, red lights behind the label turn on.
The Circuit Breakers
The pushbutton covers do a good job of protecting against inadvertent flips, but could be made better by having hinges that close them automatically. It is unlikely that someone would accidentally push one of the buttons, but the high-risk nature of the panel begs for more protection. Spring hinges would also make closing the panel up after service quicker.
A second consideration is an emergency scenario: there is no obvious way to flip all the circuits off at once, or turn them all back on quickly. Here, all that extra time is super dramatic since it happens to save Dr. Grant and the kids, hanging at this same moment as they are from the unpowered electrified fence. But if someone was trying to reactivate the park quickly, to say, save the visitors from being eaten, this circuit-by-circuit method takes a surprising amount of time.
Labeling & Color
The labeling here is good, but could still be better. The lights are the first thing to draw attention, but it’s actually the charging panel that needs to be tended to first. A good flowchart of how a person is supposed to use the panel would be an effective addition; as would a map showing which labeled breaker leads to which area of the park.
At first the red-and-green colors are backwards, but it turns out a longstanding standard within electrical engineering uses red to indicate “shock hazard” rather than “operating normally”, so this color coding is actually OK. But it might be more effective to only light up the breakers’ labels when power is actually flowing to them. For someone not experienced with the interface or electrical engineering conventions, having a few of the breakers active and a few flipped could be extremely confusing. Are the lit ones active? Inactive? Is power flowing to the panels with lights?
This panel would be a solid candidate for usability testing.