Door handles & Usability

30 Aug 2005 - 12:52am
8 years ago
17 replies
1181 reads
Suresh JV
2004

Open HouseHi,

We all know about "Door Handles > Affordance > Usability." Here is an icing on cake. [IMHO]
http://brighthandle.com/ Comments welcome. I'd love to see know this idea can be streched
to future products [offline products with internet connectivity] and what could be the role of
UI designer [Or some Designer - but dont get me started on that]

Regards,
Suresh JV.

Comments

30 Aug 2005 - 10:01am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Amazing example of non-intuitive and confusing signals.

If I had not read the details of each product I would gone on thinking
that it was a purely decorative handle, with no link to the "status" of
the dor. Even after reading I was not quite sure I got it perfectly
right since they seemed to have done a much too literal translation
from the original Swedish.

Alain Vaillancourt

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

30 Aug 2005 - 10:07am
Todd Warfel
2003

Really? It made sense to me (provided the bathroom application).
Green means it's okay. Red means it's occupied.

On Aug 30, 2005, at 11:01 AM, Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt wrote:

> Amazing example of non-intuitive and confusing signals.
>
> If I had not read the details of each product I would gone on thinking
> that it was a purely decorative handle, with no link to the
> "status" of
> the dor.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | making products & services easier to use
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (607) 339-9640
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com

--------------------------------------
Problems are just opportunities for success.

30 Aug 2005 - 10:14am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

I agree, to a point. These handles really need the context of a
men's/women's/anybody bathroom sign on the door to fully convey its
meaning.

But for that use, it's quite clever.

Bill

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Todd Warfel wrote:

> Really? It made sense to me (provided the bathroom application).
> Green means it's okay. Red means it's occupied.
>
> On Aug 30, 2005, at 11:01 AM, Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt wrote:
>
> > Amazing example of non-intuitive and confusing signals.
> >
> > If I had not read the details of each product I would gone on thinking
> > that it was a purely decorative handle, with no link to the
> > "status" of
> > the dor.

30 Aug 2005 - 10:28am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

> These handles really need the context of a
> men's/women's/anybody bathroom sign on the door to fully convey its
> meaning.

I agree. When I first reached the site, I saw the photo of the business man
sitting on the floor, looking at the handle. The first thing that came to
mind was that he was sitting in the hallway of his hotel, locked out of his
room. The second thing I thought of, once I navigated to "Products" and saw
"Alfa-online," was that he was waiting for an interview or meeting, and that
the person he would be meeting with, inside the door, was on the phone or
otherwise occupied.

Well, I guess he was otherwise occupied.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

In our society,
the scarce factor is not information,
it is time to attend to information.

- Herb Simon

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30 Aug 2005 - 10:48am
Marcy Jacobs
2005

So for the 5% of the population that is Red/Green color-blind...??

Todd Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

Really? It made sense to me (provided the bathroom application).
Green means it's okay. Red means it's occupied.

On Aug 30, 2005, at 11:01 AM, Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt wrote:

> Amazing example of non-intuitive and confusing signals.
>
> If I had not read the details of each product I would gone on thinking
> that it was a purely decorative handle, with no link to the
> "status" of
> the dor.

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | making products & services easier to use
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (607) 339-9640
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com

--------------------------------------
Problems are just opportunities for success.

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
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30 Aug 2005 - 10:51am
Dan Zlotnikov
2004

Knock.

Dan

On 8/30/05, Marcy Jacobs <acadia0 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> So for the 5% of the population that is Red/Green color-blind...??

--
WatCHI
http://www.acm.org/chapters/watchi

30 Aug 2005 - 11:21am
Todd Warfel
2003

And the 95% that's not?

On Aug 30, 2005, at 11:48 AM, Marcy Jacobs wrote:

> So for the 5% of the population that is Red/Green color-blind...??

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Design & Usability Specialist
--------------------------------------
Contact Info
Email: twarfel at mac.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
--------------------------------------

30 Aug 2005 - 11:46am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Even if people are not color blind and even if there is a woman or man
symbol on the door the message is not automaticaly clear. Don't assume
that because most people are used to red and green for traffic lights
in the street they will automatically understand that the same colors
on a door handle inside a building will mean "don't go in". Inside
buildings in North America colors like red and green are already used
to "signal" things for a wide variety of reasons.

Alain Vaillancourt

--- Bill DeRouchey <bill at flume.com> a écrit :
­> I agree, to a point. These handles really need the context of a
> men's/women's/anybody bathroom sign on the door to fully convey its
> meaning.
>
> But for that use, it's quite clever.
>
> Bill
>

__________________________________________________________
Lèche-vitrine ou lèche-écran ?
magasinage.yahoo.ca

30 Aug 2005 - 11:55am
Bill DeRouchey
2010

Another option would be for the door handle to blend in with the door
(matching colors) when locked/occupied and appearing as contrast when
open/available. So the handles would "disappear" for unavailable doors and
stand out for available doors. But this is more for a multiple-stall
situation inside larger public bathrooms.

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Even if people are not color blind and even if there is a woman or man
> symbol on the door the message is not automaticaly clear. Don't assume
> that because most people are used to red and green for traffic lights
> in the street they will automatically understand that the same colors
> on a door handle inside a building will mean "don't go in". Inside
> buildings in North America colors like red and green are already used
> to "signal" things for a wide variety of reasons.
>
> Alain Vaillancourt
>

30 Aug 2005 - 12:08pm
Gerard Torenvliet
2004

<curmudgeon>

This is so great. Yet another piece of technology designed for a
problem that has already been solved adequately.

Bathroom is occupied, so the door is locked. Door is locked, so others
can't enter.

I gotta believe that this product would have gotten incredible
traction in 1999-2000. It is sooo dot-com retro.

</curmudgeon>

-Gerard

--
Gerard Torenvliet
g.torenvliet at gmail.com

30 Aug 2005 - 12:32pm
Diego Moya
2005

Or, you could go with the already invented, low-tech solution:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/objects/details_and_close_ups/75625_busy.php?id=75625

"Busy" sign attached to the thumb-turn lock. Preferably with big
"occupied" and "open" words on the visible panel.

Not as trendy or stylish, but works w/o batteries!

On 30/08/05, Gerard Torenvliet <g.torenvliet en gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> <curmudgeon>
>
> This is so great. Yet another piece of technology designed for a
> problem that has already been solved adequately.
>
> Bathroom is occupied, so the door is locked. Door is locked, so others
> can't enter.
>
> I gotta believe that this product would have gotten incredible
> traction in 1999-2000. It is sooo dot-com retro.
>
> </curmudgeon>
>
> -Gerard
>
>
> --
> Gerard Torenvliet
> g.torenvliet en gmail.com
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss en ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists en ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

30 Aug 2005 - 12:20pm
Deborah Allen
2005

> This is so great. Yet another piece of technology designed for a
> problem that has already been solved adequately.
>
> Bathroom is occupied, so the door is locked. Door is locked, so
> others
> can't enter.
>
Airplanes and portable toilets already have an "Occupied" indicator that
appears above or next to the handle as a result of the door being
locked. Not as elegant as the door levers but . . .

Deborah Allen

30 Aug 2005 - 12:29pm
Dwayne King
2005

On Aug 30, 2005, at 9:46 AM, Alain D. M. G. Vaillancourt wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Don't assume
> that because most people are used to red and green for traffic lights
> in the street they will automatically understand that the same colors
> on a door handle inside a building will mean "don't go in".

That's probably valid, but an anecdotal story that points
otherwise... I had just started a contract with a company. One night
I had to work late, when I went to leave the door was locked. The
only option available was a big red button next to the door. It was
the only option, it had to be the way to open the door. But, I wasn't
about to push it, big red button? No way! I had to call someone to
verify I wasn't going to set off an alarm or something. Turns out it
was the way to get out, I was there for almost a year on that
contract and up to the last day, there was still a twinge of anxiety
every time I had to push that stupid red button.

30 Aug 2005 - 1:00pm
Rebecca Grier
2005

The usage that I thought of for these door handles first was not related
to bathrooms, but usability testing rooms or conference rooms. In both
cases you would not want to lock the door because there are repeated
entries and exits (usability testing) or to allow tardy individuals to
arrive (conference room). However it is important to convey to others
that the room is in use: (1) eliminate entries by those not involved and
(2) reduce the noise in the area around the room (usability testing and
conference calls/presentations). Further having others knock is not a
solution, because no one will interrupt a conference or usability test
to say go away.

My $0.02

Rebecca
____________________________
Rebecca Grier, Ph.D.
Human Systems Engineer
Aptima, Inc.

30 Aug 2005 - 1:03pm
Jay Zipursky
2005

Maybe the color could indicate whether the door is to be pulled or
pushed. :)

Jay

30 Aug 2005 - 1:45pm
Vassili Bykov
2005

Rebecca Grier wrote:
> The usage that I thought of for these door handles first was not related
> to bathrooms, but usability testing rooms or conference rooms. In both
> cases you would not want to lock the door because there are repeated
> entries and exits (usability testing) or to allow tardy individuals to
> arrive (conference room). However it is important to convey to others
> that the room is in use: (1) eliminate entries by those not involved and
> (2) reduce the noise in the area around the room (usability testing and
> conference calls/presentations). Further having others knock is not a
> solution, because no one will interrupt a conference or usability test
> to say go away.

A lit sign on or above the door saying "conference in progress" would
convey the message much better than a red door handle. Isn't this what
they do in hospitals?

--Vassili

30 Aug 2005 - 2:14pm
Taneem Talukdar
2005

The only reason you would buy these handles is because they look cool and
trendy (albeit upto a point, like lavalamps). I think thus that most of the
excellent alternatives suggested in this discussion to convey the status of
the room are missing the point ... these are just some cool looking handles.
No one is going to buy them for having awesome usability/innovative design.
Color coding has been used on doors for decades now.

... regardless of what the website might have you believe with its
revolutionary rhetoric - I find it a teeny bit hard to take a company
seriously when it tells you that it is "committed to bring change to the
handle industry" =P

But on the topic of designing a door that tells you whether you can/should
open it or not - how about a door with a handle that disappears altogether
when it's locked from the other side? So you're left with a smooth opening
that obviously cannot be opened at this time. I'm sure there are some
fascinating issues with something like this...

Cheers,

Taneem

On 8/30/05, Vassili Bykov <vbykov at cincom.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Rebecca Grier wrote:
> > The usage that I thought of for these door handles first was not related
> > to bathrooms, but usability testing rooms or conference rooms. In both
> > cases you would not want to lock the door because there are repeated
> > entries and exits (usability testing) or to allow tardy individuals to
> > arrive (conference room). However it is important to convey to others
> > that the room is in use: (1) eliminate entries by those not involved and
> > (2) reduce the noise in the area around the room (usability testing and
> > conference calls/presentations). Further having others knock is not a
> > solution, because no one will interrupt a conference or usability test
> > to say go away.
>
> A lit sign on or above the door saying "conference in progress" would
> convey the message much better than a red door handle. Isn't this what
> they do in hospitals?
>
> --Vassili
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

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