counter-intuitive, or thought-provoking

my first days in london were hosted by a hotel in a bustling city center. the close-to minimalist interior of the hotel was compensated by the very mixed set of interface designs – mainly door knobs and light switches, which may be seen as annoying at a first glance or confusing, but which i came to enjoy as an experience of pondering on my temporary living space.

the room key literally looks like a mechanical key – but it was just an electromagnetic stick. so i could not put the key in and turn it. but then i tried to push the door in without turning the handle. the handle, in a smooth sphere shape, was quite difficult to turn to open the door.

key inserted
door opened

was it just my good mood that i took the counter-intuitive interface as an amusing opportunity to take a break from the routine of unconscious actions? without causing any harms to the user, i think it is important not falling too much into ‘annoyance upon the first time use’ in designing things and ideas. design that gets better over time – a dimension that is increasingly important for me in design – does not always cater well for the strangers.

st martins lane hotel room