Mac’s Petit Inventions: Lock or Unlock

Mac’s Petit Inventions

Mac Funamizu shares with us his design ideas. He looks at everyday things and envisions their future.

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Have you ever double-checked if you really locked a door? That wouldn’t be necessary if you had a lock with a clear indicator that says “I’m locked.” So is there a way to design this constraint into the product?

In the above example, there is no indicator that says which way you should rotate to lock the door. But even when there is an indicator such as a small circle, it doesn’t always mean it’s “locked”. It might mean it’s “unlocked”. So I was wondering if there was a way for anyone to be able to recognize it’s really locked and came up with the following idea:

Actually this does NOT physically prevent the rotation of the handle around its root. This hook is just a fake, but it makes you easily recognize that the door is locked when it’s at the lowest.

So that’s what I thought when reading Living with Complexity by Donald Norman, which I highly recommend.

Mac Funamizu

Mac is an in-house web/graphic designer working in Tokyo, Japan. In his free time he invents new products and interactions.

2 comments on this article

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention » Mac’s Petit Inventions: Lock or Unlock Johnny Holland – It's all about interaction » Blog Archive --

  2. Brian Hoffman on

    I’ve always thought that some of the locks on airplane restrooms did a great job of this. Not only is the lock’s position an indicator, but there’s an explicit green/red sign with text on it that’s visible from both side of the door.