Hand dryer design fail

Badly designed hand dryer
Badly designed hand dryer

I found this in Bangkok airport rest room. Can you tell what is wrong in the first picture? It’s a hand dryer alright. But it certainly has problems. This hand dryer deviates from familiar design format that we all are accustomed with. This one looked like a trash can and placed like a trash can. Guess what happens if you deviates from familiar form type and make it look like some thing different? People get confused and the results may surprise you. In this particular case, people got confused and used it as a trash can. Yes. A hand dryer with bad design is now turned into a trash can ( see the second picture).That results in double work for the operating personnel. First it’s not used by public as intended and then you have to clean it every few hours. Just rinse and repeat this process in a highly trafficked areas like airports and the cleaning impact would be astronomical.

The lesson here is to stick with conventions in familiar situations. No one wants Red, Yellow Green traffic lights reversed. Do you?

By planetpapi

Usability practitioner, works at State of Texas.