Are the New Elevators Bad Design?

Ask Don was just sent this description, with an implied question.

Yesterday I had business to attend to in a city building downtown Portland. The building is new and this was my first visit. I was a bit baffled at the elevators, two banks of five to a side. But no up or down button. OK, so I waited for the next to open. It arrived and I got on. No buttons to select my floor. What is going on? Is this machine supposed to read my mind? I got off and re-evaluated. At the end of the I discovered a touch screeen stating "Welcome". I touched and it wanted my floor number and offered a numeric pad. I entered 12 and an elevator "pinged", the door opened and "12" was displayed on the edge of the door at eye level. I got on and went to 12.

If the story ended there, I would not be sharing this experience with you. It turns out, I had to re-visit the same office about an hour later. On the first encounter I was alone in the waiting area, so there was one elevator, one person. Good, a match. The second visit however, there were a dozen people and four elevators open. Finally in frustration I went to the lobby security guard. I give him credit for his courtesy, he demonstrated that when you pad in your floor number, the display also shows the letter for your ride "A-J". His next comment demonstrated how little people understand the problem. He said "It's easy once you get used to it". It may be easy for those who work in the building, but the offices there are to serve the public. Most of the public visitors will only come once or twice and will never get past the learning curve.