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Cute, if unpractical.

Cute, if unpractical.

KNOBS! KNOBS! WE NEED MORE KNOBS!
… is something people never ask for when they enter a shower. FYI.
(Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku. Thanks M.H.)

KNOBS! KNOBS! WE NEED MORE KNOBS!

… is something people never ask for when they enter a shower. FYI.

(Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku. Thanks M.H.)

This is a shower, not a bathtub which turns into a shower. So what is the top knob for? Thankfully, CSI is cracking the case. YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

This is a shower, not a bathtub which turns into a shower. So what is the top knob for? Thankfully, CSI is cracking the case. YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

The peculiar thing about shower design is that showers are the location where your end user (the person taking the shower) is in the most vulnerable position.
On a physical level, well, the user will be naked (let’s forget about weirdos for a second) and might easily get burnt by hot water if your shower does not offer any protection against accidental changes in temperature. In the winter, you also need to take into account that users will often freeze their ass because of a draft coming from the bedroom, which means they stop being comfortable until they have reached that sweet temperature spot under your shower.
On a psychological level, the user is also in a very vulnerable state. Even in an intimate context, hanging around naked is rarely the most comfortable situation for most people, especially when they are in a place they don’t know that well (ex. a hotel room many miles away from home). Some showers are also designed in a way that they make it impossible to change the water temperature while remaining outside the shower to circumvent the issues mentioned above.

The peculiar thing about shower design is that showers are the location where your end user (the person taking the shower) is in the most vulnerable position.

On a physical level, well, the user will be naked (let’s forget about weirdos for a second) and might easily get burnt by hot water if your shower does not offer any protection against accidental changes in temperature. In the winter, you also need to take into account that users will often freeze their ass because of a draft coming from the bedroom, which means they stop being comfortable until they have reached that sweet temperature spot under your shower.

On a psychological level, the user is also in a very vulnerable state. Even in an intimate context, hanging around naked is rarely the most comfortable situation for most people, especially when they are in a place they don’t know that well (ex. a hotel room many miles away from home). Some showers are also designed in a way that they make it impossible to change the water temperature while remaining outside the shower to circumvent the issues mentioned above.

London, near Oxford Circus, late 2010. This project began in late 2009.

London, near Oxford Circus, late 2010. This project began in late 2009.

What strikes me the most, because of my professional background, is how little shower designers think about the end user. This might be because the end user is not always the consumer. For instance, in the case of a hotel, the consumer is the asshole thinking loudly about how a picture of the shower will look in promotional pamphlets or on their official website. Such decision makers most definitely do not take showers in the bathrooms they finance.
What’s in the mind of the end user when they enter the shower? Many things, I guess, but most decisions to take a shower situations can be summed up in two situations:
1) “I need to take a shower because this is part of my daily routine." Such people usually need to go fast, especially in a hotel, because they have much better things to do afterwards such as meeting a client or visiting your town. They don’t have so much time to waste in finding the sweet spot for temperature and flow.
2) “I want to relax." Which is in direct conflict with struggling naked (and cold) with a shower tap that would take cryptographers more time to decipher than the Enigma machine.
This one is from a hotel in Paris. Thanks to S.N. for his contribution!

What strikes me the most, because of my professional background, is how little shower designers think about the end user. This might be because the end user is not always the consumer. For instance, in the case of a hotel, the consumer is the asshole thinking loudly about how a picture of the shower will look in promotional pamphlets or on their official website. Such decision makers most definitely do not take showers in the bathrooms they finance.

What’s in the mind of the end user when they enter the shower? Many things, I guess, but most decisions to take a shower situations can be summed up in two situations:

1) “I need to take a shower because this is part of my daily routine." Such people usually need to go fast, especially in a hotel, because they have much better things to do afterwards such as meeting a client or visiting your town. They don’t have so much time to waste in finding the sweet spot for temperature and flow.

2) “I want to relax." Which is in direct conflict with struggling naked (and cold) with a shower tap that would take cryptographers more time to decipher than the Enigma machine.

This one is from a hotel in Paris. Thanks to S.N. for his contribution!

You would think pressing the little buttons would change anything. Yes. You would think so.

You would think pressing the little buttons would change anything. Yes. You would think so.

Paris. Even the shower taps do not care about being helpful.

Paris. Even the shower taps do not care about being helpful.

"And also we decided to place the tap far from the entrance of the shower, so that you cannot modify the temperature and flow without compromising half of your body. Because we are evil."

"And also we decided to place the tap far from the entrance of the shower, so that you cannot modify the temperature and flow without compromising half of your body. Because we are evil."

Sometimes hot water is found by turning a knob towards “the right”, or rather clockwise; sometimes it’s towards “the left”, or rather counter-clockwise. How come they have never set an international standard for this kind of essential feature?

Sometimes hot water is found by turning a knob towards “the right”, or rather clockwise; sometimes it’s towards “the left”, or rather counter-clockwise. How come they have never set an international standard for this kind of essential feature?

Rome, Albergo del Sole near the Pantheon. Hotel was so-so, not without charm though. I am not sure what these little things on the wall are supposed to do. Massage jets maybe? I think I understood about 15% of that shower.

Rome, Albergo del Sole near the Pantheon. Hotel was so-so, not without charm though. I am not sure what these little things on the wall are supposed to do. Massage jets maybe? I think I understood about 15% of that shower.

Frankfurt again, in early 2011. Hotel Leonardo Frankfurt Airport. Crappy place. Took me a while to find proper temperature at first.

Frankfurt again, in early 2011. Hotel Leonardo Frankfurt Airport. Crappy place. Took me a while to find proper temperature at first.

- Which side is “warm”, Mr. Engineer?
- SCREW YOU AND FIND OUT BY YOURSELF HAHA.

- Which side is “warm”, Mr. Engineer?

- SCREW YOU AND FIND OUT BY YOURSELF HAHA.

Helpful submission from an old friend. Actually seems decent.

Helpful submission from an old friend. Actually seems decent.

Frankfurt. Hotel Innside. Nice overall design: you see the bedroom while taking the shower.
My colleague R.M. brought up some interesting points which I had forgotten about this shower. There are two design flaws, although one of them, I do not fully agree with.
 The major problem of this shower is that you have nowhere to put shampoo or soap within your reach. There is a small plastic stand, but it is completely flat and as a result the water coming out of the shower knocks it off immediately. As you can see on the picture, the ground is flat, which means water will also knock bottles off.
Regarding the other issue, I will ask R.M. to kindly write his own explanation. I will then paste it here in due time.

Frankfurt. Hotel Innside. Nice overall design: you see the bedroom while taking the shower.

My colleague R.M. brought up some interesting points which I had forgotten about this shower. There are two design flaws, although one of them, I do not fully agree with.

 The major problem of this shower is that you have nowhere to put shampoo or soap within your reach. There is a small plastic stand, but it is completely flat and as a result the water coming out of the shower knocks it off immediately. As you can see on the picture, the ground is flat, which means water will also knock bottles off.

Regarding the other issue, I will ask R.M. to kindly write his own explanation. I will then paste it here in due time.

Cute, if unpractical.

Cute, if unpractical.

KNOBS! KNOBS! WE NEED MORE KNOBS!
… is something people never ask for when they enter a shower. FYI.
(Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku. Thanks M.H.)

KNOBS! KNOBS! WE NEED MORE KNOBS!

… is something people never ask for when they enter a shower. FYI.

(Hilton Hotel in Shinjuku. Thanks M.H.)

This is a shower, not a bathtub which turns into a shower. So what is the top knob for? Thankfully, CSI is cracking the case. YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

This is a shower, not a bathtub which turns into a shower. So what is the top knob for? Thankfully, CSI is cracking the case. YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

The peculiar thing about shower design is that showers are the location where your end user (the person taking the shower) is in the most vulnerable position.
On a physical level, well, the user will be naked (let’s forget about weirdos for a second) and might easily get burnt by hot water if your shower does not offer any protection against accidental changes in temperature. In the winter, you also need to take into account that users will often freeze their ass because of a draft coming from the bedroom, which means they stop being comfortable until they have reached that sweet temperature spot under your shower.
On a psychological level, the user is also in a very vulnerable state. Even in an intimate context, hanging around naked is rarely the most comfortable situation for most people, especially when they are in a place they don’t know that well (ex. a hotel room many miles away from home). Some showers are also designed in a way that they make it impossible to change the water temperature while remaining outside the shower to circumvent the issues mentioned above.

The peculiar thing about shower design is that showers are the location where your end user (the person taking the shower) is in the most vulnerable position.

On a physical level, well, the user will be naked (let’s forget about weirdos for a second) and might easily get burnt by hot water if your shower does not offer any protection against accidental changes in temperature. In the winter, you also need to take into account that users will often freeze their ass because of a draft coming from the bedroom, which means they stop being comfortable until they have reached that sweet temperature spot under your shower.

On a psychological level, the user is also in a very vulnerable state. Even in an intimate context, hanging around naked is rarely the most comfortable situation for most people, especially when they are in a place they don’t know that well (ex. a hotel room many miles away from home). Some showers are also designed in a way that they make it impossible to change the water temperature while remaining outside the shower to circumvent the issues mentioned above.

London, near Oxford Circus, late 2010. This project began in late 2009.

London, near Oxford Circus, late 2010. This project began in late 2009.

What strikes me the most, because of my professional background, is how little shower designers think about the end user. This might be because the end user is not always the consumer. For instance, in the case of a hotel, the consumer is the asshole thinking loudly about how a picture of the shower will look in promotional pamphlets or on their official website. Such decision makers most definitely do not take showers in the bathrooms they finance.
What’s in the mind of the end user when they enter the shower? Many things, I guess, but most decisions to take a shower situations can be summed up in two situations:
1) “I need to take a shower because this is part of my daily routine." Such people usually need to go fast, especially in a hotel, because they have much better things to do afterwards such as meeting a client or visiting your town. They don’t have so much time to waste in finding the sweet spot for temperature and flow.
2) “I want to relax." Which is in direct conflict with struggling naked (and cold) with a shower tap that would take cryptographers more time to decipher than the Enigma machine.
This one is from a hotel in Paris. Thanks to S.N. for his contribution!

What strikes me the most, because of my professional background, is how little shower designers think about the end user. This might be because the end user is not always the consumer. For instance, in the case of a hotel, the consumer is the asshole thinking loudly about how a picture of the shower will look in promotional pamphlets or on their official website. Such decision makers most definitely do not take showers in the bathrooms they finance.

What’s in the mind of the end user when they enter the shower? Many things, I guess, but most decisions to take a shower situations can be summed up in two situations:

1) “I need to take a shower because this is part of my daily routine." Such people usually need to go fast, especially in a hotel, because they have much better things to do afterwards such as meeting a client or visiting your town. They don’t have so much time to waste in finding the sweet spot for temperature and flow.

2) “I want to relax." Which is in direct conflict with struggling naked (and cold) with a shower tap that would take cryptographers more time to decipher than the Enigma machine.

This one is from a hotel in Paris. Thanks to S.N. for his contribution!

You would think pressing the little buttons would change anything. Yes. You would think so.

You would think pressing the little buttons would change anything. Yes. You would think so.

Paris. Even the shower taps do not care about being helpful.

Paris. Even the shower taps do not care about being helpful.

"And also we decided to place the tap far from the entrance of the shower, so that you cannot modify the temperature and flow without compromising half of your body. Because we are evil."

"And also we decided to place the tap far from the entrance of the shower, so that you cannot modify the temperature and flow without compromising half of your body. Because we are evil."

Sometimes hot water is found by turning a knob towards “the right”, or rather clockwise; sometimes it’s towards “the left”, or rather counter-clockwise. How come they have never set an international standard for this kind of essential feature?

Sometimes hot water is found by turning a knob towards “the right”, or rather clockwise; sometimes it’s towards “the left”, or rather counter-clockwise. How come they have never set an international standard for this kind of essential feature?

Rome, Albergo del Sole near the Pantheon. Hotel was so-so, not without charm though. I am not sure what these little things on the wall are supposed to do. Massage jets maybe? I think I understood about 15% of that shower.

Rome, Albergo del Sole near the Pantheon. Hotel was so-so, not without charm though. I am not sure what these little things on the wall are supposed to do. Massage jets maybe? I think I understood about 15% of that shower.

Frankfurt again, in early 2011. Hotel Leonardo Frankfurt Airport. Crappy place. Took me a while to find proper temperature at first.

Frankfurt again, in early 2011. Hotel Leonardo Frankfurt Airport. Crappy place. Took me a while to find proper temperature at first.

- Which side is “warm”, Mr. Engineer?
- SCREW YOU AND FIND OUT BY YOURSELF HAHA.

- Which side is “warm”, Mr. Engineer?

- SCREW YOU AND FIND OUT BY YOURSELF HAHA.

Helpful submission from an old friend. Actually seems decent.

Helpful submission from an old friend. Actually seems decent.

Frankfurt. Hotel Innside. Nice overall design: you see the bedroom while taking the shower.
My colleague R.M. brought up some interesting points which I had forgotten about this shower. There are two design flaws, although one of them, I do not fully agree with.
 The major problem of this shower is that you have nowhere to put shampoo or soap within your reach. There is a small plastic stand, but it is completely flat and as a result the water coming out of the shower knocks it off immediately. As you can see on the picture, the ground is flat, which means water will also knock bottles off.
Regarding the other issue, I will ask R.M. to kindly write his own explanation. I will then paste it here in due time.

Frankfurt. Hotel Innside. Nice overall design: you see the bedroom while taking the shower.

My colleague R.M. brought up some interesting points which I had forgotten about this shower. There are two design flaws, although one of them, I do not fully agree with.

 The major problem of this shower is that you have nowhere to put shampoo or soap within your reach. There is a small plastic stand, but it is completely flat and as a result the water coming out of the shower knocks it off immediately. As you can see on the picture, the ground is flat, which means water will also knock bottles off.

Regarding the other issue, I will ask R.M. to kindly write his own explanation. I will then paste it here in due time.

About:

My job involves travelling around the world and fixing terrible user interface. Through my numerous trips and questionable hotel choices over the years, I have uncovered one inconvenient truth.

Shower designers are insane and have no practical concern for how users will understand and use shower taps. I will prove it here.

If you design showers and shower taps for a living, I would be very interested in talking to you and threatening your life. (chazumaru through gmail. com)

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