A Norman Door is a door that has a design feature that contradicts its function
You’ve probably run into many of these doors, not realizing that is is a legitimate design flaw.
Those doors that have vertical sidebar handle, that begs you to pull, but the door is actually push.
It’s confusing, and is a simple fix: remove the bar.
A flat door needs no explanation. A flat door is designed so you can only push.
And a door that is meant to be pushed should advertise that fact.
In the same breath, we often do things that contradict our true purpose.
We design our words or actions in a way that do not go in line with our intentions because we either don’t know how to design our actions to align them, or we are simply too ignorant to understand that our words need to match our intentions.
A poorly designed door irritates people. It causes stress and un-needed vexation.
Poorly designed doors need bold, obvious signs, that contradict the design feature and tell you what you are supposed to do.
Imagine walking around with a sign that said “everything I say and do is a lie”
That’s the Norman Door.
Eliminate the need for a sign that tells us a door is meant to be pushed.
Don’t be a Norman Door.
If you want to watch the video by Vox, which inspired this post, click here