Sometimes it’s the weird, small things that I notice. This one is definitely in that category. Still, it stood out, and that brought on a blog post.
At Gardermoen Airport outside Oslo, the bathroom stall doors are different. Not because they don’t open or some such nonsense. No, it’s a simple, small thing.
The door handles.
They aren’t your classic handles (which come in many shapes and sizes, but are somewhat similar), but instead they are vertical bars, that reach from the normal handle position around stomach height and up to roughly my shoulders.
Why is this at all interesting?
Because by making the door handle this way, the designers have created something multi-functional. The door handle not only serves as a door handle, but also as a coat hanger. And that was new and pretty elegant. When you’re in an airport toilet, you usually concentrate on a few things:
- making sure the door locks properly, so you have peace and quiet.
- ensuring that there’s toilet paper and that the toilet is in working condition.
- finding somewhere to hang your jacket.
I’ve never been to a toilet that didn’t have a lock. Sometimes the locks are out of order, but they’re always there. The same goes for the toilet itself and the accompanying toilet paper. There might be something wrong there, but not by design.
A jacket hanger? Not always present. It’s not that it’s a huge problem if it’s not there — often you can just fold your jacket over the stall door — but it’s a small first world annoyance.
Not here. Door handle and jacket hanger in one.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to change the game. Especially if the game is tiny and specialised. Still, I’ve been to quite a few airports and this is the first time I’ve seen this.
Memorable experience design is found in many places.
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