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November 11, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Toilet door on train

Toilet_door Nic Price of beatnic asks:

How do you know it's locked?


maybe im just tired, but i dont get it.

Posted by: gmangw at November 11, 2005 12:42 AM

So are 'Open' 'Close' and 'Press' Buttons? Do they light up? Definitely broken as it makes NO sense.

Posted by: J. Scott at November 11, 2005 12:59 AM

what happened to just a simple deadbolt lock? Broken...Because it requires a brain cell in order to use the john. You'd think it shouldn't.

Posted by: whatever at November 11, 2005 03:11 AM

Maybe it's for people that get the door stuck while they're inside?

Posted by: Faye at November 11, 2005 07:24 AM

I particularly like that there is a button you press labeled "Close". Hmmm, must be one of those new-aged self closing doors like in Star Trek (and even those worked more like a grocery store door, but I'd assume a train doesnt have the kind of space for doors like that).

Posted by: RampartAccess at November 11, 2005 10:05 AM

And there's no intuitive way to unlock the door, either....

Maybe there's no way to unlock the door, period :)

Posted by: Josh Z. at November 11, 2005 11:04 AM

This is so broken on so many levels-

a. there is a total lack of intuitive interface being conveyed by the buttons, they make no sense.

b. if the average person cannot decipher the clues given by the design object it fails- the book the design of everyday things gives many examples of bad design like this- they lack feedback, logic and are making the desired action more difficult as opposed to assisting the user.

c. if you have to think this hard to use a john on a train then there are some larger broken issues going on. on a personal note- the mta trains for metro north have manual controls that are vague but usable and effective- you know when youve locked the door- because it gives a visual and tactile response.

design is being ruined by overcomplication-

Posted by: smartypants at November 11, 2005 12:05 PM

It's broken all right, and what's also broken is calling toilets johns. We fought long and hard for the privilege of having prostitutes' customers named after us. Calling toilets johns is an insult to all johns everywhere.

Posted by: John at November 11, 2005 01:21 PM

using a john in any context should not entail a long thought process. Both uses of the word being applicable-

Posted by: Smartypants at November 11, 2005 02:04 PM

I guess you sit there with your foot crammed against the door.

Posted by: Boris at November 11, 2005 02:45 PM

Perhaps you are missing the point. Are the buttons not made of metal? How are they to be illuminated? Riddle me this, Batman.

Posted by: Bob at November 11, 2005 04:27 PM

Sometimes the border around the buttons lights up.

Posted by: A1 at November 11, 2005 06:00 PM

Well, I guess you press the 'Lock' button to lock it, and 'Open' to open it. If you're not sure if it's locked or not punch the button a few more times for good measure.

I think the 'illuminated' part is a little misleading, unless the picture makes plastic buttons look like metal.

Posted by: Trent Chernecki at November 11, 2005 10:18 PM

I assume that it is a pneumatic sliding door like doors between train cars. My question is why have a lock button? If the door is closed from the inside that should keep the open button from working on the outside. With further thought I see a problem of someone playing a prank by quickly sliding out the door after pressing close and locking it forever. That is why there has to be a lock button that only works after the door is fully closed.

Posted by: Dennis at November 12, 2005 12:02 PM

I stared at this all day and finally figured it out. Look carefully and notice that "When Illuminated" is closer to the bottom button than the middle one. Thus, it, and the 'To Lock' are part of the bottom button section, which says "When Illuminated, Press To Lock". The top two buttons share the word "Door" because it is exactly in the middle between them and thus read "Open Door" and "Door Close".

Posted by: J. Scott at November 12, 2005 10:45 PM

But what's really broken is you have to stick your finger in a hole to open the door and that hole has been pressed by the 90% of bathroom users who don't wipe after taking a #2.

Posted by: J. Scott at November 12, 2005 10:47 PM


Posted by: Pat at November 14, 2005 02:53 PM

to J. Scott - You looked at this all day?!?!

Were you on LSD or something?

What do you do for income?


Posted by: John at January 28, 2006 12:49 PM

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