Today’s UX Rant: Restrooms, Trash Cans, & Public Heatlh

I think we can all agree that it is in the public interest to promote behaviors which do the most to prevent the spread of germs. So why do I so frequently find myself being forced — by design! — to touch the doors of public restrooms and the lids of public trash cans?

Public Restrooms

So far the only places doing this right seem to be airports, rest stops, and public swimming pools. They’ve figured out this bit of rocket science: Just don’t have a door! Or, if you MUST have a door, make it swing both ways and put a kick plate at the bottom so I can push it with my shoe.

Trash Cans

The most egregious example of this in my life (which is in Boston) are BigBelly Solar Compactors. Why should I have to choose between dodging a rhinovirus and choosing a more sustainable waste receptacle?

More common are the trashcans that insist you push in a spring-hinged door in order to dispose of waste. It’s nearly impossible to get out of this situation without touching the door, which is exactly the thing that has had trash smeared all over it again and again.

How about a foot pedal instead? Or maybe just an open trash can like you see on the street in NYC?

Rocket science.

Today’s UX Rant: Restrooms, Trash Cans, & Public Heatlh

Today’s UX Rant: Previous, Next, & Swipe

One thing that really bugs me about the text messaging interface on my HTC Thunderbolt is that once I’m viewing a conversation, there is no way for me to navigate to the previous or next conversation. I have to go back to the main list screen and navigate from there. Other examples of this “strategy” include the messaging interfaces on both LinkedIn and Facebook.

I see no excuse for it, really, especially in the case of mobile, where there is such a powerful interaction event to be leveraged for previous/next functionality: swiping. Swiping feels *amazing* compared to clicking. Some app creators seem to really get this (for instance, the Economist, which makes reading their magazine on a phone remarkably similar to reading a physical copy).

Here’s hoping everyone else gets on that bandwagon soon.

Today’s UX Rant: Previous, Next, & Swipe