Norman Door Defined

Posted June 28, 2006 by Adam Gautsch

Cameron Moll describes this door as a 'Norman Door'. The nomenclature is pulled from The Design of Everyday Things. Having not read the book, I can only assume that a 'Norman Door' is a shit dumb door that looks like it should be a pull but is actually a push. Any one who's ever been to the library at Clemson knows the main doors are also 'Norman Doors'. I worked at the library for an entire year in college and I still pulled when I should have pushed once a week. I don't know if that means I'm dumb or the door design is dumb but I'm blaming it on the door.


Evan Tishuk ~ June 28, 2006

They actually fixed those doors a year or so ago.

Adam Gautsch ~ June 28, 2006

Goes to prove one of my rules of life:

Things always get better when you leave.

Bobby ~ June 28, 2006

That is so true...I want to name that "Bear's Law" and from now on I'll be like "There are two certainties in life..."Murphey's Law" and "Bear's Law."

Adam Gautsch ~ June 28, 2006

Bobby one day I will teach you all my rules of life. You will write them down and study them, then you will go forth and teach others about these rules.

It will be good.

C-Town ~ June 28, 2006

I remember my freshman year at Clemson, trying to fit in, not wanting to stick out or make a fool of myself. I went up to the doors and pulled when I should have pushed. Went to the desk, dropped off the book, turned around and went to leave through the doors i just came in through. Of course you can't leave through those doors, so i had to take that long embarrasing walk around to the correct set of doors. It's right up there w/ the time i was walking on the sidewalk, not paying attention and walked into one of those poles they conveniently put in the middle of the sidewalks. Conveniently about nut high too. Turned around, in pain, to see a beautiful girl who exclaimed "ohh, are you alright honey?"

Susan ~ June 29, 2006

Re: Design of Everyday Things, it's a pretty decent read, and your assumption about what makes a door a Norman door is one example, although the general theme is based on lack of detail to indicate push vs. pull, open to the left vs. right, etc. From the book:

Norman Doors Photo

In this case, I usually place one hand at each end of the bar and apply even pressure slowly on both sides until I can figure out if the door hinges are on the left or the right. In some ways, I feel like I've conquered one of life's little attempts to make me look like a buffoon and I walk away thinking "That door tried to trick me but I totally kicked its ass". I should keep score, it'd be like "Doors 1, Susan 374" since 1997.

Adam Gautsch ~ June 29, 2006

Susan, we are all very proud of you for defeating the evil door.

How about when there are double doors and one is locked for no good reason? How do you go about figuring that one out door master?

I know this is something that constantly gets Evan's goat.

Susan ~ June 29, 2006

Oh I'm sorry, I should have specified that I meant a particular subset of doors--the ones with the bar all the way across that create ambiguity in which way it will open (left or right). Did you think I've only gone through 375 doors since 1997? :)

The locked door quandary gets the best of me too, especially if it has a sign that says "This door to remain unlocked during business hours".

Also, thanks for editing my posts...I needs it.

-An Buffoon

Adam Gautsch ~ June 29, 2006

"Also, thanks for editing my posts…I needs it."

Evan likes to edit replies but has had withdraws since Jimmy quit coming around the Yeti as much.

Jimmy was good for hours of comment editing fun.

Evan Tishuk ~ June 29, 2006

Here's my original rant about double-doors and how many places opt to keep one door locked and the other open without signaling which one's which.

Susan, I think I only editted your post's link to the photo of the norman door -- because the software doesn't automagically make the text a hyperlink. If I changed anything else it was accidental. You have good grammar darling. But I'll fix egregious errors simply because they bug the hell out of me.

Bobby ~ June 30, 2006

Has anyone else noticed that C-Town only seems to post comments regarding doors and how bad they are???

Agent Orange ~ July 01, 2006

Due to the evil Cooper doors I learned to eye the hinges and/or pneumatic closing devide on the door before engaging it. I still stare doors down to this day. Yes, Clemson taught me something: how to open doors.

C-Town ~ July 01, 2006

Bear, I use a similar tactic. I look to see which side the lock is on. (No need to thank me for this advice.)

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