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.

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