You might be a doctor who takes care of an endless stream of patients walking through the hospital doors, an engineer who can wire a circuit board like a champ, or even a chef who could whip up delicate delicious and delicate desserts as if it was an effortless task. Yet, you all try to ‘push’ the door open, when it clearly says ‘pull’! If you think you are the only one who makes this mistake, you are wrong!
In fact, some door designs confuse more than the others. As we go through a door, our mind subconsciously searches for the design clues. If there is a push plate or bar on the door, you would probably never try to pull it open; reason being the door design that makes pushing it an obvious choice.
Only the design of the doors that prefer style to practicality will ever confuse you. The designers call these doors the ‘Norman Door’, named after Don Norman. The artist and author Norman explained in his book The Design of Everyday Things that a well-designed door is the one that the user can open intuitively and does not signs to indicate how to open it. All you need is to look at it, and you would know how to open it.
Unfortunately, not all designers take user impression into account as they design a door. For instance, the glass doors in offices with large vertical handles on the either side are confusing. They can only be opened in one direction, and the handle is probably installed to keep the hands off the glass door on the ’push’ side of the door.
So, next time you try to ‘pull’ open a door when it says ‘push’, know that it’s not you. It’s the door design!