It's not you. Bad doors are everywhere. | Summary and Q&A

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February 26, 2016
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Vox
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It's not you. Bad doors are everywhere.

TL;DR

Norman doors, also known as confusing doors, are poorly designed doors that give the wrong signals and require signs to clarify their use.

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Key Insights

  • 🚪 Norman doors, or confusing doors, are a common frustration due to their design flaws.
  • 🎨 Design principles such as discoverability and feedback can prevent the need for signs on doors.
  • 👤 Human-centered design aims to improve usability and user experience in various fields.
  • 🥺 Many computer systems also lack discoverability and feedback, leading to confusion.
  • 🧑‍⚕️ Human-centered design has the potential to solve large-scale problems in public health and other areas.
  • 😚 An ideal door would be so well designed that users do not even realize they are opening and closing it.
  • 🤢 Different door designs, such as flat plates, push bars, and pull handles, can indicate the correct way to operate them.

Transcript

There’s this door on the 10th floor I just hate so much. Goddammit! Do you ever get this door wrong? “pretty regularly.” How often? “like 30% of the time.” Have you seen people misuse it? All the time. Every day. Constantly. I hate this door. Me too Kelsey. But here’s the thing: as soon as you start looking for confusing doors. They. Are. EVERYWHER... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is a Norman door?

A Norman door is a poorly designed door that gives the wrong signals or instructions, leading to confusion about whether to push or pull.

Q: Why do some doors need signs to indicate their use?

Many doors lack discoverability, which means users cannot easily determine how to operate them without signs. Designers should aim to make functions obvious without the need for instructions.

Q: What are the basic principles of design?

Discoverability and feedback are two key principles. Discoverability involves making it clear what operations can be done, while feedback provides users with information about what happened and why.

Q: How does human-centered design work?

Human-centered design involves observing how users perform tasks, generating ideas for improvement, prototyping solutions, and testing them. It focuses on addressing the needs and preferences of users.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Norman doors are doors that tell you to do the opposite of what you're supposed to do or give the wrong signal, resulting in confusion.

  • Discoverability and feedback are key principles of design that can prevent the need for signs on doors.

  • Human-centered design, also known as user-centered design, focuses on improving usability and user experience.

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