It’s not you. Bad doors are everywhere.

It’s not you. Bad doors are everywhere.


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. EVERYWHERE. Why? I feel like Roman Mars would know why. Roman: This is 99% invisible, and those doors
you hate are called Norman doors. What’s a norman door? Roman: Don Norman wrote THE essential book about design. He is the ‘Norman’ of the ‘norman door.’ Alright – and where is this guy? Roman: ”You Must Go to San Diego” Okay! Don: Hi joe! I’m Don Norman. I’m… gee it’s hard
to describe what i am. Roman: Well, he’s been a Professor of psychology, professor of cognitive science, professor of computer science, a vice president of advanced technology at apple. But for our purposes Don: I was spending a year living in Cambridge, England, and I got so frustrated with my inability to use the light switches and the water taps and the doors even, that I wrote this book. If I continually get a door wrong, is it my
fault? Don: No. Roman: A norman door is one where the design tells you to do the opposite of what you’re actually supposed to do, or gives the wrong signal and needs a sign to correct it. Don: Why is such a simple thing, why does it need an instruction manual? That is, why do you have to have a sign that says Push
or Pull. Why not make it obvious? Roman: It can be obvious if it’s designed
right. Don: There are a couple really basic principles of design, and one of them i’ll call discoverability. When I look at something, i should be able to discover what operations i can do. Roman: The principle applies to a whole lot more than doors. Don: “And it’s amazing with many of our
computer systems today, you can look at it and there’s no way of knowing what’s possible. Should i tap it once, or twice, or even triple tap? Discoverability, when it’s not there,
well you don’t know how to use something.” Roman: Another is feedback. Don: So many times, there’s no feedback
– you don’t know what happened, or why it happened. Roman: And these principles form the basis of how designers and engineers work today: commonly known as User- or human-centered design. Don: I decided user was a bit degrading, why not call people people? It’s amazingly simple, and amazingly seldom practiced.” We call it iterative because it goes around in a circle. We observe what is happening today, people doing the task. And from that, we say we have some ideas. Here’s what we propose to do. Joe: Then you prototype the solution, and
test it. And this process has spread all over the world, and is improving lives – from better every day things like the ones Don wrote about,
to using the process to solve huge problems in public health in developing countries – water, sanitation, farming, and lots more. So what’d be a better, human centered door? Don: An ideal door is one where that as I
walk up to it and walk through it. I’m not even aware that I had opened a door and shut it. And I don’t have to be aware because it’s so well designed that it’s just automatic. So if you had a door which had a flat plate,
what could you do? Nothing. The only thing you can do is push. So, see? You don’t need
a sign. Flat plate – you push. Roman: This kind of push bar with the piece
sticking out on one side works well too, so you can see what side you’re supposed to
push on Don: Vertical bars could go either way. A
simple little hand thing sort of indicates pull. Roman: But we still have terrible, terrible
doors in the world. So many of them. Don: There are lots of things in life are
fairly standardized. Whether I buy this house or not is not a function of whether it has
good doors in it. Except for safety reasons, doors tend not to be improved. Roman: But the tyranny of bad doors must end. I think that it’s a really shitty design
the fact that the put A PULL HANDLE when it’s a push. So it should be a flat panel here.
And not a GODDAMN pull handle. that’s how i feel about this door. it’s very misleading.
(I agree) Roman: You’re right becky. You’re goddamned
right. And if we all thought like you, well, we might just design better world together. “It won’t open because it’s a security door!”
“What the **** are you two doing in here?” Hey, so as you can see, since I started making
this video, they’ve since changed the door a little bit. Guess it’s a step in the right
direction. Thank you so much for watching and to 99% invisible, one of my favorite podcasts,
it was so much fun getting to collaborate with with them. Check them out on any podcast
app or 99pi.org.

100 thoughts on “It’s not you. Bad doors are everywhere.

  1. When you watch a poorly designed door video on YouTube, hit the left arrow to backup 5 seconds and lower the volume instead.

  2. There's a door man for my school canteen who happens to be called Norman, Norman Doorman.

    Also idk it seems kind of obvious to me that the door in the video is a push, seen as u go in from the side and from a narrow corridor into a bigger room.

  3. My school really did do it right. And i liked the design before, but I couldn't articulate why… Now I know.
    Still, sometimes I don't get them open, even though I always push in the right direction… The locking mechanism is still a bit frustrating.

  4. I feel like there should be a door with a metal plate on both sides so all you do is push so it's no longer confusing

  5. Doors are usually designed for a worst case scenario, meaning emergency situations. I’m not implying use shouldn’t be intuitive, all I’m saying is that intuition works differently when you are just walking into work in the morning, holding your bag and a cup of coffee and when you are trying to egress a burning building.

  6. Why all of you so confused with some doors problem ?,
    Listen… I am not some of professor of anything, but when I looked of some door and willing to open it, I will always know Where I am, and Where that doors lead, 99,99% doors are made to be pushed from the outside and pull from the inside, and if there Slide door there must be some railings… Easy.

  7. I have a sliding door in my home and once I kinda got stuck outside cause I pushed it the wrong way :v

  8. I tried to open a door once when I was younger, I pulled it for 1 minute till my dad came and helped me

    I’ll never forget that day

  9. It’s really just for consistency, specially on glass doors to have a handle of both sides to make it look better

  10. More easy way is to make them in such a way that you can both push and pull so that no matter whichever direction you move them you are right

  11. Dobald Norman’s Everyday Thing’s Designs is serious one of the most inspiring book on the planet. I read it in high school when i was studying Visual Arts. I ended up doing sth else but the concepts of this book still shapes how i think!

  12. En kötüsü de benim seviyemde ingilizceye hakim olmak herhalde. Neredeyse bütün kelimeleri anlayıp hiçbir cümlenin birebir anlamını kavrayamamak…

    Bir kelime olur anlayamazsın, bilmediğin bir edat vardır, illa bir pürüz vardır yani…

  13. In our school, door handles were added to both sides of the door so even if you were to push the door, there'd be a handle. Literally everyone I know would pull the push side of the door.

  14. But if the door doesn't close automatically you need a handle to close it if you want to. Doors in houses are usually like this and I don't have any issues with them. I think it's because of the door frame. You didn't talk about the frame at all. Another issue with the door in the office is that it's all glass so there's not really a frame that tells you it can't be pulled.

  15. There’s a door at my school that is push, but it has a handle for pull… I’ve messed it up so many times

  16. Yah i remember on the 1st day of school I can’t enter my classroom because I’m pushing it. Until my classmate opened it

  17. THANK YOU. I have to deal with many of these poor concepts. They come from the DESIGN people, not the applications and safety dept. An interior design consultant has far more say than any other as to what will be manufactured. Many years ago, there was a booby-prize for poor engineering ( MIT I think ) that gave the BALL shaped knob it's annual nod as poor design of the year. ( Pre-dating levers as required on all commercial doors on new construction in the mid 70s, thanks to the ADA ), The Russwin and Corbin over-sized sphere, particularly in bright chrome ( 625 ) finish can nearly trap you in a lavratory where hands can be wet, making getting any purchase on that knob difficult. It is far worse on in-swing as opposed to outswing doors. Imagine what children endure trying to open such a door.

  18. Just wanted to see how many people had door issues.
    The door at VOX goes against the norm, so it is a bad door.
    99% of doors follow a general standard though.

  19. There was a study done somewhere that showed a very large percentage of people paid no attention to the Push/Pull signs, so STILL got it wrong. I've done this myself many times.

  20. Didnt they make those because there was a fire and people where blocking the door and they couldnt get out and all died?

  21. discoverability

    /dɪskʌv(ə)rəˈbɪlɪti/

    noun

    the quality of being able to be discovered or found.

  22. The old lazy maintenance man, who changed my lock put the top lock in upside down. I'm glad I know what a Norman Door is, but I'll continue to call mine the old lazy maintenance man door.

  23. Oh I read the book when I was in my 2nd year in Architecture school. Very good and informative book, aside from its super enjoyable to read 🙂

  24. handle like a milk jug handle on the pull side and a bar on the push side and i promise nobody will get it wrong

  25. Maybe the handle is there in case the auto door close system fails.

    In that case if a person is on the push side of the door then he can use the handle to close the door.

    PS
    Several times I wish there was an option in videos like these to turn off the background music.

  26. Most of the doors in Colombia are oppening inwards. It was weird when I stayed 3 months in Florida. Every single place I was the guy pushing, not pulling.

  27. when a toilet door is more successful in telling which way to open it than the 10th floor of Vox Media office

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