Ad Agency Toilets

At the risk of sounding like a toilet-usability-obsessive (following my post about train toilet usability), why is it that advertising agencies always seem to have such badly designed toilets? (I shouldn’t really single ad agencies – this is something they have in common with über-cool bars and other bleeding-edge over-designed buildings).

At Leo Burnett, we had to put up with unlabelled mono-taps, with no indication of which direction to turn them for hot or cold. Despite working there for three years, I never quite got the hang of them, and ended up with scalded hands on more than one occasion.

At Saatchi’s, where I am now, the taps are set too far back into the marble sinks. This would be fine for a dwarf with withered hands, but for me (not a large-mitted person by any standard) it means cramming my hands up against the rear of the sink in an attempt to direct a few splashes of water onto them.

There was a day (I imagine) when bathrooms were just bathrooms, sinks were fairly regulation white ceramic things with cookie-cutter chrome taps sticking out at the back. Sadly that’s no longer enough for most people: they have to have variation, innovation and, in nine out of
ten cases, bad usability.

Shit, I’m starting to sound like a grumpy old man. Somebody shoot me!

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