Urinals part V

Michael Darnell keeps track of poor choice architecture at the site Bad Designs. While our previous urinal posts (read parts I, II, III, and IV) have highlighted some of the better designed commodes, Darnell has highlighted two confusing ones. First, is a mop sink in a Santa Barbara men’s room that looks like the urinals you might find in elementary school bathrooms. Someone taped a “This is a Mop Sink” label to nudge users away from it.

Second, is a Holland toilet that is flushed with a touch of a floor button. Elegant and hygienic, certainly, but also confusing to dumb American tourists. And even some smart ones. The woman who snapped this picture thinks the yellow arrow on the wall is a good start, but still not a good piece of choice architecture. She suggests:

To improve this design, the flushing mechanism could be made more visible so that a sign would not be necessary. People are generally inclined to associate a control (the flusher) with the object it controls (the toilet), so they look first at the object itself for the control. One solution might be a foot pedal that is attached to the toilet itself, provided that the foot pedal is visible to the user. In the case of the current design with the flusher button on the floor, the flusher button could be made the same color as the toilet to show that the two are associated.

Another possibility would be to put the flush button next to the toilet paper dispenser, although the hygienic benefits would be lost.


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