June 23, 2006 | Category:

The Door Post

This post has been a long time coming. Originally it was going to be an entire series of posts (remember when I used to post more than 5 items a month? Good times), going into an inane amount of detail, and featuring case studies on every single aspect of the featured subject.

It is about doors.

You might be thinking that I couldn’t possibly be dull enough to fill post upon post with doors. The idea was going to be to examine what is arguably the most common object in everyday human interaction and go into why it is, pardon my French, fucked up so often. I would start with looking at each component (primarily the handle, but any windows play an important part in interaction) and show how they are usually done so badly as to make the primary task of opening a door more difficult for people.

It was to be an opus on how, by paying attention to the task at hand and examining small details, to best design an object. But all you really need to know is this:

Excluding life threatening situations, door design is the single most common bit of bad design. Remember: handles mean pull, panels mean push. Never change this. For large values of never.

Ever have to design a door? Now you know how. Ever need to design a car, pen, website or anything, bear the above lesson in mind.