How comes that we cant fast distinguish between push/pull when we approach a door?

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How comes that we cant fast distinguish between push/pull when we approach a door?

In: Biology

We automatically try to push into a horizontal handle and grab to pull a vertical one. Handles that don’t conform to this give us trouble as we don’t read the signs, and our brains just assume we know how doors work.

Its generally push to exit, pull to enter. I think this may be to make it easier to get out during an emergency like a fire but don’t quote me on that.

As far as why there aren’t distinguishing marks to let us know, it’s probably just not worth the expenditure.

Same reason we can’t easily discern which side of the car the gas cap is on.

It’s simply not uniform. not the same between models or years.

Just going to add that this is *not* the fault of the person. This is a result of lousy design.

On many (I really can’t say most) there is no _option_ to pull when it’s a push open and no _option_ to push when its a pull open. The design on a good door offers affordances to make usage clear.

This is the difference between “how it works” design and “how it looks” design.

While bad design plays a part in the problem all you really have to do is look for the hinges. If you see hinges, pull, if not, push. There is a special place in hell by the way for people who build public bathrooms with “pull from the inside” doors.