163 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

Doorknobs provide a worse UX for bears, which can be a useful feature for humans who want to keep bears out. ...elderly and disabled people find it easier to operate doors with handles. But so do ...
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  • 2,301
145 votes
Accepted

Why are aluminium soda cans typically round instead of square?

It is a combination of manufacturing and usability... but mostly manufacturing. Doing a quick web search for "why are soda cans round" (Google does a decent job) yields multiple insights in the issue....
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69 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

Handle-less doors exist in many restaurants. The idea is that you can be carrying trays/plates in both hands, and simply walk through the doors, and get where you are going (implementation note, when ...
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  • 1,384
68 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

They are harder for little hands and jumping pets to open (though turning a lever door handle to the vertical also works for these purposes). They are also somewhat less likely to have things catch ...
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53 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

A great question! I love how UX design makes you think of these things. However, just to play devil's advocate, I can list several reasons off the top of my head why we should not have all doors as ...
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  • 843
48 votes
Accepted

Why do door knobs still exist?

Door knobs are standard in US homes for the same reason that exterior doors open inwards* -- it's "always been done that way". People grow up used to knobs, and specify knobs on new work, and thus ...
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48 votes

Why are monitors only at neck height by default?

Most often they are actually not too low. According to widely accepted ergonomics guidelines, your eyes should be inline with the top of the monitor. Looking downwards to it is at worst against your ...
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  • 1,860
47 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

Doors are either left-handed or right-handed, depending on which way they open. Doorknobs can be installed on either side of the door. Handles are normally designed for either the right or left side ...
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  • 1,384
47 votes

Why are aluminium soda cans typically round instead of square?

Other people have already said "manufacturing" so I will not repeat that. What is worth emphasizing though is that soda cans are pressurized to 2 atmospheres of pressure or more. https://www....
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  • 846
34 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

Since you mentioned the US, I feel it's important to bring up the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Among many other things, the ADA has this to say on the subject: Advisory 404.2.7 Door and ...
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  • 855
29 votes

Why are monitors only at neck height by default?

Making things clear The fact is that the people who care or are aware about the posture and really follow the guidelines are the minority. Also despite the knowledge people can have about posture, it ...
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29 votes

Why are monitors only at neck height by default?

Speculation. Monitors used to look like this: you put the big computer on your desk, and the tiny monitor sat on top of it - at the correct height. As we tried to make the desk "cleaner", the box ...
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  • 439
26 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

From the point of view of designing a building, the biggest problem with doors is that they create a lot of dead space in the floor plan (space that can't be used for anything else). The area you ...
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  • 1,421
26 votes
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Why are monitors only at neck height by default?

Because you can always put some additional stand, but it might be really hard to "cut" the default one :) Low fixed stand seems to be universal and pretty cheap solution. Usually, better stand is a ...
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23 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

I'm from the UK, live in Spain, and I certainly noticed a lot more grip and turn knobs when I was in the USA. One advantage is that they often have a lock built in (either a key lock for a front door, ...
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19 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

This is a classic case where the decision-makers are not the users. Doorknobs tend to be installed by home builders, whose goals are minimizing cost and minimizing cost and also minimizing cost. ...
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15 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

When I was in the US, I was told most doors had this simple convention: Handle == pull, Bar == push. Seem to be applied to most places I went (that being malls, restaurants, clinics, groceries). ...
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  • 1,967
13 votes
Accepted

Why aren't keyboards' home and top rows aligned nicely?

You may find this thread relevant. In a nutshell, it's a legacy design trait from typewriter days, and there hasn't been much reason to change it. Why are keyboard keys staggered? This is largely ...
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  • 7,631
11 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

Reasons for using door handles: Keeping the door closed, e.g. against draft. Wind will push at the door in just the same way you would push. Wind will not turn a handle though. Closing the door when ...
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  • 381
10 votes

Why are monitors only at neck height by default?

The issue with ergonomic guidelines similar to that shown on the Apple website is that virtually no one sits like that (contrary to what our school teachers have tried to make us do). Almost everyone ...
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  • 779
10 votes

Why are keyboard numpads on the right-hand side?

Numpads are on the right-hand side to make basic calculations faster for majority of the population. Numpad is redundant part of the keyboard, added to make basic calculations (addition / subtraction ...
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  • 1,286
9 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

Two people meet either side of a two way door. Their only option is to push. This might comes across as rude. Two people meet either side of a normal door. The one on the "pull" side opens it for the ...
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  • 2,100
9 votes

Why don’t we remove door handles and let doors open both ways (inwards, outwards)?

Of course there are multiple valid reasons to have doors as they are right now. To add to the existing answers (and excuse my english, I'm not a native speaker): Having hinges (the metal thing that ...
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  • 191
9 votes

Why do physical keyboards still have built-in numpads?

One aspect that no other answers have covered, is "Why do you use your mouse so much?". From an efficiency perspective it is clear that moving your hand to/from the mouse is a problem. The solution is ...
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  • 1,384
8 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

Vancouver has banned doorknobs through its building code. The motive is for greater accessibility. And I can think of several reasons why levers offer a lot more affordance. Elbows, forearms, feet, ...
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  • 4,734
8 votes
Accepted

ALL CAPS fonts for industrial use

Vartabedian, A. G., published in 1971 that people can recognize isolated words better if all capital letters are used. “The Effects of Letter Size, Case, and Generation Method on CRT Display Search ...
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7 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of jackets having small zipperless back pockets just below the neck?

There are certain sports where a neck-proximate pocket would make sense, but given the shape of this particular pocket I'm almost positive it's decorative and not functional. For road cycling, where a ...
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  • 40.4k
7 votes

ALL CAPS fonts for industrial use

Design of anything in an aircraft is heavily regulated. It is likely there is a viewing distance requirement for the text and that it would be translated into an appropriate character height. If you ...
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  • 638
6 votes

Why do door knobs still exist?

They seem to be the cheapest in the stores. Both in the US and when I was in Ukraine. So the question becomes, why are they the cheapest? My hunch is it's a result of round knobs all looking ...
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6 votes

Why do physical keyboards still have built-in numpads?

There are also left handed versions of the numpad keyboard :) Why do we have a numberpad on keyboard? As you know, computer is something really new when they were there. They were designed for ...
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