We all know about Norman doors. If you don’t, stop reading my blog, and get yourself a copy of The Design of Everyday Things. Do it now!
My company moved into a new office building this morning. Our restrooms are single-use, so there are locks on the doors. In one day, there were multiple cases of the restrooms being locked while nobody was using them. The following memo had to be sent out to all employees.
This was something discovered today, so I thought I’d share it as it might affect restroom access.
- If you push the lock button in, the door locks. Turning the handle opens the door and unlocks it.
- If you turn the lock button, the door locks. Turning the handle opens the door, but it remains locked.
If option 2 happens and the door gets shut from the outside, a key will be required to enter the room again.
The lock visually affords twisting, behaving as locks I’ve encountered repeatedly in the past. Some door handle designer must have thought that this two-stage lock was a great idea. I can’t think of a good use case for it. A public restroom certainly isn’t one.