Video of a bad "automatic" door design

Aug. 24, 2009
A funny video shows exactly why supposedly “intuitive” designs can be anything but. Too many designs neglect us poor end users in a quest to be different, or heaven-knows-what. The video makes you laugh because it such an extreme example. But I'm sure ...

A funny video shows exactly why supposedly “intuitive” designs can be anything but. Too many designs neglect us poor end users in a quest to be different, or heaven-knows-what. The video makes you laugh because it such an extreme example. But I'm sure you will agree, all of us occasionally get made a fool by poor designs.

For example, consider hotel shower controls that give no clue as to how you are supposed to turn on the water. Or, how about the badly placed or absent street signs that cause you to miss your freeway exit. Other irritations: hotel shampoo containers with openings so tiny, you can hardly pour out the shampoo, and consumer packing you can barely open with huge pliers and a hammer, let alone your bare hands.

But back to a bad automatic-door design as shown in the video. Recently, I stayed at a hotel in Orlando that had a wrought-iron, decorative fence surrounding the swimming pool. Entering the area through the front gate was easy because I just happened to follow a couple inside. But when it came time to leave, I couldn't figure out how to open the stupid gate! It turned out you had to pull up an almost invisible “pin” to release the gate mechanism. Even if the pin is intended as a child-proofing element, the design should be much more straightforward.

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