Bad Doors Are Everywhere

I have a coffee pot at home that I would normally say is beautifully designed. I love the way it looks; its mix of stainless steel and copper. But in reality, it has a terrible design. The spout of the carafe is shaped in a way that allows the coffee to run down the outside and spill all over the counter every single time I pour. My point is that 1. I need a new coffee pot, and 2. good design doesn’t just pertain to graphics, websites and packaging. It also relates to just about anything we interact with daily.

As if by fate, this teachable moment came into my life last weekend as I exited a coffee shop. I slammed into the door that clearly looked like it should have been pushed when in fact was designed to be pulled. (Do I have bad luck with coffee or what?) Later that day I stumbled across a video from Vox about human-centered design that focuses on the bad doors of the world, and how discoverability and feedback play a key role in human-centered design. Take a look:

The biggest takeaway from the video—besides the universal frustration of badly designed doors—is that design has as much to do with the way things look as the way we want to use them. My colleague, Tim, wrote a great post about placemaking and desire paths, highlighting the idea that people are going to behave as they’d like, no matter how pretty a pathway you design for them.

Now, can anyone recommend a good coffee pot?