162

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 bears. In British Columbia, bears have been known to scavenge for food inside cars—whose doors have handles, knob advocates point out. Pitkin County, Colorado, ...


146

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. But the only result you need to visit is engineerguy's YouTube video (you should also be Subscribed to engineerguy, because he is awesome). The Ingenious ...


69

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 carrying food, you typically 'back into' the door to go through - you can't push through the door with plates of food in front of you, so, you can't see what's ...


68

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 on them (bag straps, stray elbows), especially in confined spaces.


53

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 you described: Hinges: would have be to become more complex. One-way hinges, as they exist now, are a quite simple 3-piece design that require very little ...


48

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 this inferior mechanism is perpetuated. For some buildings (not private homes), some building codes now require lever mechanisms so that the handicapped can ...


48

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 preference, looking up to it by even a small amount is really bad for your back and neck. So it is much better to err on the side of it being too low.


47

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 of the door (i.e. you need a left/right pair for each door, one on this side of the door, the other on the other side of the door). (This appears to be a topic ...


47

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.youtube.com/watch?v=EJiUWBiM8HE Side-note: this is why the container is made of metal in the first place. Few other packaging materials can deal with this load ...


34

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 Gate Hardware. Door hardware that can be operated with a closed fist or a loose grip accommodates the greatest range of users. Hardware that requires ...


32

Keyboards are still sold with numpads because there is a demand for them. Many people use them a lot (think any form of numeric data entry), and would have their work negatively impacted without the numpad there. That said, there are plenty of keyboards (both bluetooth and wired) that don't have a numpad. Another simple solution (if you're really ...


30

Making things clear The reality 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 doesn't imply at all that the will apply it (or do it correctly). I don't have any doubt that taking a standard office chair, desk and monitor, adult ...


28

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 went on the ground (or inside the monitor). And so your problem was born.


26

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 have to leave clear for a single door swing is at least as big as for a washing machine, and often more (e.g. if the door opens near a corner you need a space big ...


24

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 good motivation to pay more.


23

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, or a push button for a bathroom.) This makes the appearance neater and the installation easier than the typical European handle, which must have a separate ...


20

Because the numeric keypad is useful. I enter my numbers and calculations with the numeric keypad, it is much handier this way. If you are allergic to the numeric keypad, you can now get an Apple iMac with the metal small keyboard, without numeric keypad — Apple still makes full keyboards too.


19

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. Round door knobs are cheap, plentiful, and understood to be an acceptable solution. For internal doors, this makes them the norm. Lever-style doorknobs are much ...


15

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). Emergency doors are designed so you can push outwards. Easily opened even when the inside is jammed. You don't need to step back to open. Rooms had doors open ...


13

Via further research, I've discovered that I was acting under a bad assumption. I had assumed that 0 and 1 became standard around the same time, but the very next section in the wikipedia article says: The 0 key was added and standardized in its modern position early in the history of the typewriter, but the 1 and exclamation point were left off some ...


13

There is little doubt that for most people a touch device has positive psychological effects. Watch a small child using a tablet vs a computer, or even better, watch an autistic person interact with a tablet. Watch their faces as it opens a new world to them, and you will be convinced. Touch screens allow people to interact more naturally with devices as ...


11

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 it is left open. If a door is opened all the way, you need to grab it somehow to close it. Hard to do without a handle. Keeping the door open. As just ...


11

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 likes to lean back a bit, and most office chairs allow for this. In fact, it is NOT good for you to sit straight up as a college design professor discovered. ...


11

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 a case of path dependency. Originally keyboards had to have a staggered layout to fit the mechanical linkages between the keys and the levers. After ...


10

The numeric keypad long predates computer keyboards, it was basically the UI of the adding machines used by tens of thousands of accountants in the days before PCs. Personal computers were originally hobbyists' toys with limited application to business. Real businesses used real computers (mainframes and mini-computers from IBM, DEC, HP, DG, etc.) When ...


9

I got inspired, did some digging in my search engine of choice and found a very recent study by Henry Ford Hospital (published in February 2012) that gives a more or less clear answer on the debate: People hold phones in the hand that is opposite to the dominant side of the brain (where speech & hearing centers are located). This means that the ...


9

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 not to make getting to the mouse easier (removing the number keypad), but to use the mouse less. Using keyboard shortcuts to access menus, buttons, and so on ...


9

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 holds the door, had that translated) that open in both directions makes it difficult to actually really close the door. There always has to be some amount ...


9

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 other person. This comes across as polite. The directioness of the door design provides convention that helps the door's users. (Maybe this is a just a ...


8

Touch screens are really still at an early stage in the life and history of mobile devices, but touch (or haptic) feedback is at an even earlier stage of development (despite probably having been around for longer!), largely due to lack of funding, cost of prototyping and risk of non-widespread take up. Rachel Hinman (currently at Nokia) is a thought leader ...


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