Restroom usability 101

womensFirst of all, a shoutout to NP Jane: I don’t know why yesterday’s pic won’t load for you (it’s only 30K, so it’s not size) but I also haven’t been able to email you so there must be some kind of problem in the pipeline somewhere, probably temporary. The bottom part of the pic is just brush, nothing exciting.

Okay. So today that baggy old kayak woman (aka me) went to a usability conference with some co-workers. After a loverly continental breakfast, it was time to take a seat in the auditorium and I thought that probably a stop at the restroom was in order. So I grabbed my bags and schlepped down the hall to where the bathroom is and I encountered the sign in the picture, which, as you can see, obviously says, “Women’s Restroom”. And there’s that open doorway next to it, so I went in the open doorway. Now, I have been in this particular bathroom a couple times before but something was just not right about it. It went the wrong direction and there was another open door that seemed to lead in the correct direction but it had a sign on it that said “Authorized personnel only”. So, feeling very puzzled, I headed back in the other direction, at which time I was HORRIFIED to see a young MAN about five feet taller than me exit a stall!!!! Yiiiiyyyyy!!! How the heck did I get in *here*? Quick, totally undignified exit! Hello! The “Women’s Restroom” sign is *on* a blasted *door*!

mensAs it turned out, I used that restroom again later in the day and this time, I figgered out what the problem was. Since the *Men’s* room door was open, I couldn’t see the sign! I don’t know what I was thinking. I was in a hurry at the time. But I do know that if I had approached the whole restroom scenario from the other direction I would’ve seen the sign on the *Men’s* room door (see second pic) and I would *not* have made that mistake. And yes, the second pic is fuzzy. I am not totally shameless and when I went to take that second picture, somebody was coming down the hall and, yes, I was just a leetle bit embarrassed to be caught taking a picture of bathroom doors. Fer Kee-reist! Even though I don’t have a clue about who that person was because I clicked quick and skeedaddled and I will no doubt never see that person again.

I am not sure why the dern men’s room door was open like that. It was open all day. I say this is bad usability. Several co-workers of mine say my little foray into the wrong room was user error.

What about the conference? It was absolutely wonderful! As usual. Er, the conference organizers didn’t have anything to do with the bathrooms, just to clarify.


6 Responses to “Restroom usability 101”

  1. isa Says:

    hee hee

  2. Dog Mom Says:

    “Hey, the door was open! Figured if anyone didn’t want random people walking in, they’d’ve CLOSED the door!”

    Yup, a Usability Issue, not an End-User Error.

  3. Kathy Farnell Says:

    SMILE…You’re on candid camera!

  4. Marquis Says:

    Maybe he was blurry eyed?

  5. l4827 Says:

    I’m flushed about that.

  6. Fran Says:

    Live and learn!