A Poor Design Choice

I recently found myself at the entrance to the emergency room of our local hospital (nothing serious) and was immediately face to face with a bad design decision.

Look at the following photo of the emergency room entrance:

Photo of the emergency room entrance

It’s an automatic sliding door that opens as you approach it. In theory this sounds like a good idea but only one side automatically opens and you have to approach the correct side for it to work. The only real clue as to which side opens is the small black sensor above the door. While I was waiting around I estimated that about 80% of the people approached the wrong side of the door (myself included) and ended up standing there starting at the door wondering how to get in. Commenting about it to another visitor, this person said that he does the same thing daily, even when he already knows how the door works from past experience.

Watching all this might be funny until you consider this is the only entrance to the emergency room of a hospital. If daily visitors are still confused, what happens when someone in an emergency situation approaches the door? Not so funny.